Adding a 12-ounce soft drink, containing about 150 calories and 40 grams of sugar, to your normal diet every day can lead to a 15-pound weight gain per year. (Fotolia.com / July 11, 2012)
Premium Health News Service
10:45 a.m. CDT, July 11, 2012
Sugar-sweetened beverages–sodas, coffee drinks, energy drinks, bottled teas–are ubiquitous; and sugar- and calorie-laden. Evidence points out that our penchant for such sweet bottled beverages may be fueling the obesity epidemic.
Sweetened drink consumption has risen by about 100 percent among young adults since the 1970s, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. About 50 percent of the added sugars in our diets come from sodas, sports and energy drinks, coffee beverages, and fruit juice drinks. In fact, soft drinks are the single largest contributor of calorie intake in the United States.
So what’s the harm in drinking a soda here and there? Studies suggest that when you consume calorie-containing beverages, you don’t gain the same sense of fullness that you get when you consume those calories in solid food; thus, you don’t reduce your calorie intake at the meal. And those extra calories can add up.
Adding a 12-ounce soft drink, containing about 150 calories and 40 grams of sugar, to your normal diet every day can lead to a 15-pound weight gain per year. Researchers from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy analyzed data from more than 40,000 subjects and found that adults who drank a soda or more per day were 27 percent more likely to be overweight than those who do not drink soda.
Another concern about sweetened beverages is their high sugar content. A 2009 scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) provided guidelines on limiting added sugars to help prevent obesity and cardiovascular disease.
According to the AHA, evidence links excessive sugar intake with several metabolic abnormalities and adverse health conditions, overconsumption of discretionary calories, and shortfalls in essential nutrients. They recommend an upper limit for daily added sugar of no more than 100 calories for women (25 grams or 6 teaspoons) and 150 calories (38 grams or 9 teaspoons) for men.
KICK THE CAN
EN’s advice is simple: Cut out bottles and cans of sweetened beverages in lieu of plain water or unsweetened coffee and tea. Just remember that looks can be deceiving; a bottled tea or smoothie can contain just as much sugar as a soda. Flip over the can and read the nutrition information; look for added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, cane sugar, honey, and dextrose on the ingredients list.