U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have reportedly joined the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network and a coalition of federal, state and local public health organizations in urging U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin to investigate the alleged association between sugar-sweetened drinks and rising obesity rates. According to a September 12, 2012, letter, the senators have asked Benjamin to conduct a study that would determine “the impact of sugary drinks on rates of American obesity and whether public health proposals that target sugary beverages will positively impact public health.”

“As America’s waistline has expanded, so too has our access to sugary drinks,” states the letter. “Beverages like soda, sports drinks, lemonade, juice drinks, and sweetened teas are cheap and available everywhere. Doctors and public health experts recommend limiting and reducing the consumption of sugary drinks, especially in children, but kids and adults drink twice the amount of soda that they did three decades ago.”

Additional details about previous requests for a Surgeon General report on sugary drinks appear in Issues 446 and 447 of this Update.