5,000 New Yorkers die of obesity every year according to the New York City Department of Health: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/nyregion/health-board-approves-bloombergs-soda-ban.html?_r=0
4 Acre graveyard calculation & City Hall Park: Arlington National Cemetery has 800 graves per acre (http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=43942). Assuming that half are double-graves (husband and wife), that comes to about 1,200 individuals per acre. 5,000 individuals a year would require 4.17 acres of land. City Hall Park is 4 acres: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/city_over_hall_Z6Jc1mZcujN6UWXhTxsYJJ
44 pounds of sugar every year: This is based on data from Coca-Cola’s 2011 Annual Review: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/annual-review/2011/pdf/TCCC_2011_Annual_Review.pdf The Review states on page 12 states that per-capita consumption of its beverages in the U.S. is 3,224 ounces per year. 1/4 of Coke’s unit case volume is a low or no-calorie beverage (page 31), so full-calorie beverages account for 2,418 ounces per capita. There are about 16 packets of sugar in every 20 ounce bottle of full-calorie soda. (http://www.politifact.com/oregon/statements/2012/jul/11/multnomah-county/did-your-kid-just-drink-16-packs-sugar/) A sugar packet contains 1.6 teaspoons, making per-capita consumption equal to 5.04 gallons of sugar. Sugar’s weight by volume is 8.8 pounds per gallon, making average consumption 44 pounds. But this is only using Coca-Cola’s numbers. One might argue that the average soda-drinker consumes far more, since not everyone in America consumes soda, and not everyone who consumes soda consumes a Coca-Cola soda. But these are the numbers we have and the conservative estimates are stark enough. One way to get a fuller picture would be to find Coca-Cola’s soda marketshare and use the 5 gallon ratio to calculate the rest. According to HighBeam Research, Coca-Cola’s 2010 carbonated soft drink marketshare was 41.9 percent, but that also includes diet and low-calorie offerings. Assuming that market share holds the same when just looking at full-calorie offerings, rough estimates are that the average American may consume closer to 12 gallons of sugar from soft drinks a year. This means that the average American might actually consume his or her weight in beverage sugar in less than 2 years.
Double chance of diabetes: This statistic is cited at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sugary-vs-diet-drinks/ and appears here: Schulze MB, Manson JE, Ludwig DS, Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugar-sweetened beverages, weight gain, andincidence of type 2 diabetes in young and middle-aged women. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2004;292:927-934.
#1 source of calories for teens: This statistic is cited at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sugary-drinks-fact-sheet/ It appears here: National Cancer Institute. Mean Intake of Energy and Mean Contribution (kcal) of Various Foods Among US Population, by Age, NHANES 2005–06. Accessed June 21, 2012, http://riskfactor.cancer.gov/diet/foodsources/
Just 1 extra can a day increases odds of obesity in children by 60%: Ludwig DS, Peterson KE, Gortmaker SL. Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis. Lancet. 2001;357:505-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11229668
1/3 of U.S. adults (35.9 percent) are obese: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm
$1,429 increase in medical costs: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/28/5/w822.full.pdf+html
Family of 4 icon by: James Keuning: http://thenounproject.com/noun/family/#icon-No11182
Costs of feeding a family of 4: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2010/CostofFoodApr10.pdf