Alexa Linboom was five years old when she arrived at the hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee. It was New Year’s Day, 2012. She was blue and paralyzed, rigid in a posture indicative of severe brain damage.
Linboom’s father and stepmother allegedly forced her, District Attorney Berkley Bell told CNN this week, to drink a copious amount of grape soda as punishment.
"I don’t know exactly how much liquid she [subsequently] drank," Bell said, "but there was [sic] 4.5 12-ounce drinks, plus water in between.” The autopsy report says it was 2.4 liters of soda and water over one-to-two hours, after which, according to Bell, "The child was screaming out in pain, … went into a paralyzed state, and became unconscious.” She died in the hospital two days later.
The punishment was allegedly for stealing a grape soda from her stepmother.
Tennessee’s Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office said last week that her death was determined to be homicide by way of acute fluid intoxication. On Friday her parents were charged with first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated child neglect, and aggravated child abuse.
Mexico’s new soft drink tax could push the nation’s Coca-Cola makers away from the cane sugar that’s made “Mexicoke” a cult hit in the U.S.
Executives from the second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola in Latin America suggested that a shift away from cane sugar might be in the cards as a result of the steep sales tax on soda Mexico’s congress approved on Thursday (Oct. 31). American Coke enthusiasts claim the Mexican version tastes better than what they get in the US, which some say is because Mexican Coca-Cola is made with cane sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup.
Read more. [Image: Reuters/Romeo Ranoco]
Ten years ago, Americans drank enough soda every year to fill a small aquarium. Fifty-three gallons of the stuff per person. That’s half a liter of Diet Coke on an average day. Compare that to our other favorite liquid-caffeine companion. For every cup of coffee we consumed in 2003, we drank two cups of soft drink. For $1 we spent on joe, we spent $4 on soda.
Now look where we are: Soda is in a free fall, with domestic revenue down 40%. Coffee culture is ascendant, up 50% in ten years. In another decade, the United States could easily spend more on coffee than soda — something utterly unthinkable at the turn of the century.
Read more. [Image: IBISWorld]
By now everyone’s well aware of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s new plan to ban the sale of sodas larger than 16 ounces in New York City. So far the proposal doesn’t seem very pop-ular — it’s just too easy with this story — but the mayor himself is pushing past the criticism like he’s been there before.
That’s probably because he has. As Sarah Kliff pointed out the other day at Wonkblog, Bloomberg’s time as mayor has been filled with the passage of public health initiatives that were at the head of the national curve, and sometimes even set it. While many of these efforts were greeted with skepticism, a great number of cities (not to mention states and even countries) eventually came to embrace similar policies.
Using this history as its guide, Atlantic Cities embarked on an attempt to deduce which major city might be the next to follow in Bloomberg’s cup holder and pursue a ban on large sugary drinks. Read more.
Look at Mayor Michael Bloomberg, standing behind a podium, as he so often does in his job. It’s in that upright posture that he’s spoken about bans on smoking, trans-fats, and now large containers of sweetened liquid. Perhaps it is all an elaborate attempt to distract us from something even less healthy. For elsewhere in New York, countless workers toil at the machine that helped their namesake become a billionaire — the Bloomberg terminal, ubiquitous in finance. And get this: almost all of them are sitting down.
Yes, they are seated.
And “over a lifetime, the unhealthful effects of sitting add up,” The New York Times Magazine reported last April in a story titled, “Is Sitting a Lethal Activity.” […]
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
One of the clearest regional differences in the U.S. can found by tracking the words people use to refer to soft drinks, which is in fact the map you saw at the top of this story. Pop or soda, or even Coke, these small linguistic differences are not as small as we might think. While “soda” commands the Northeast and West Coast (green) and “pop” is in between (black), “Coke” reigns in the south (turquoise). These small distinctions can often act as touchstones for larger cultural differences.
Read more. [Image: Samuel Arbesman]