Choosing healthy beverages is a great first step to an overall healthy diet. Americans are drinking more soft drinks than ever. Per capita soft-drink consumption has increased almost 500 percent over the past 50 years. There is enough regular soda produced to supply every American with more than 14 ounces of soda every day. One reason for the steady rise in soft drink consumption is larger portion sizes; fountain drinks can range in size from 22 to 64 ounces. Children start drinking soda at a remarkably young age, and consumption increases through young adulthood.
People who drink soft drinks take in more calories than those who do not. Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages has been associated with weight gain, overweight, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. A 12-ounce can of soda has 150 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. If these calories are added to the typical diet without cutting back on something else, one soda a day could lead to a weight gain of 15 pounds in one year.
Sports drinks, another popular soft drink, are for athletes who participate in high-intensity, aerobic exercise for at least 90 minutes. Most kids are not this active. The added sugar and sodium in sports drinks are unnecessary for children and youth. Sports drinks offer little advantage over water for kids.
Try these tips to help you and your family re-think your drink:
For more information: Re-Think Your Drink PDF
What America drinks: How beverages relate to nutrient intakes and body weight. Retrieved from http://www.2424milk.com/drinks.php.
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Malik V.S., Schulze M.B., Hu F.B. 2006. Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: A systemic review. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 84:274-88.
Rampersaud G., Bailey L., Kauwell G. 2003. National survey beverage consumption data for children and adolescents indicate the need to encourage a shift toward more nutritive beverages. Journal of American Dietetic Association 103(1):97-100.
Vartanian L.R., Schwartz M.B., Brownell K.D. 2007. Effects of soft-drink consumption on nutrition and health: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Public Health 97:667-675.
Rethink Your Drink