Forget juice. Put away the milk. And don't even think about that soda.

In a move to combat childhood obesity, a panel of health experts in the United Kingdom is rallying around the mission to encourage kids to drink more water — and only water — at mealtimes and throughout the day. It's a message the rings true on this side of the pond as well.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, boys in the U.S. get an average of 15 teaspoons of refined sugar daily, and most girls ingest about 10 teaspoons, all from sweetened beverages. That's the most amount of added sugar that kids should be getting from all foods combined in a day. So top that soda off with a bowl of cereal or a plate of spaghetti and they have gone over the limit. Add a cinnamon roll or a brownie and they are marching into unhealthy territory.

In an attempt to reduce all of the extra sugars that kids are taking in each day, policy makers in the U.K. are targeting soda and juice and hoping to encourage parents to put water on the table rather than sweetened beverages.

On the flip side, those opposed to the initiative think it's a bad idea to demonize any one food category, arguing that the mission should be to encourage kids and families to balance the calories they take in with exercise.

What do you think? Would encouraging kids to drink more water solve the childhood obesity problem? Or do we simply need to encourage kids to balance all of the foods they eat and drink with healthy amounts of exercise?

Related posts on MNN:

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.