Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 10:22 pm
Soda is at the crossroads.
The U.S. is still a world leader in taking the pause that refreshes (and causes weight gain).
But soda drinking is flat or declining in the West. The reasons are many: Health consciousness. Bottled water. Energy drinks.
So the Big Soda companies are spending money to develop new markets in low- and middle-income countries. In some of these places, people are earning a bit more than a few years before, so they have more money for soda.
When an email arrived the other day promoting an "Interfaith Service Focused on Below the Belt Cancers," I was intrigued.
It turns out Thursday, June 18, is the start of the third "Globe-athon to End Women's Cancers." To kickoff this continuing campaign, there will be two days of events in New York City dedicated to making people more aware of the cancers that strike more than 1 million women a year and figuring out the best strategies for diagnosis and treatment.
A new survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that sexual violence against children is a global problem.
Seven countries were surveyed from 2007 to 2013. The first was Swaziland, which wanted to assess and address the problem. The rate of sexual violence against girls was 36.7 percent. Additional countries asked to be surveyed as well. Young people from the age of 13 to 24 were interviewed, with a range of 1,000 to 2,000 for each gender.
In September, the U.N. will vote to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals (aka SDGs). They cover issues like poverty, health and climate change. The idea is to encourage the 192 U.N. member states to establish policies that will make the world a better place over the next 15 years.
At least one SDG is turning out to be a bit controversial.
This particular goal calls for a reduction in "premature mortality" from non-communicable diseases like cancer, stroke and dementia by half in people younger than 50 and by a third among people from 50 to 69.
That's how Gordon Brown put it in a speech this month. He's the former British Prime Minister who is now the U.N. special envoy for global education. And he's worried about kids.
"This is not the year of the child but the year of fear," he said, "with 2015 already the worst year since 1945 for children being displaced, the worst year for children becoming refugees, the worst year for children seeing their schools attacked."