Maggie Caudill, 15, has entered a weight loss program at Boston Children's Hospital.
Her goal is to lose about 40 pounds so she can get back to cheerleading and softball.
"I want to be able to run as fast as I can through those bases. I don't want to get winded and have to use my asthma inhaler," she says.
Her first step toward weight loss is to cut out sodas.
She'd been drinking about a liter a day.
"Sugary beverages can affect body weight quite quickly -- perhaps more so than any other single food product," notes Dr. David Ludwig.
Dr. Ludwig oversees Maggie's weight loss program.
He led a new study that found teens gained four pounds fewer than their peers when they replaced sugary beverages with zero calorie drinks for one year.
"The effect was especially pronounced among Hispanics, who gained 14 pounds less during that first year," he says.
In a statement response to the new study the American Beverage Association points out:
"We know, and science su more