Americans Love Soda

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on January 8, 2015 · 0 comments

In 2012, over 26% (1 in 4 adults) of those surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they drank soda or fruit drinks more than once every day, contributing more than 150 calories a day. Sugar-sweetened drinks have been connected to gaining weight and numerous chronic health problems such as heart disease. Those aged 18 to 34 and men are the most likely to use these drinks daily. Mississippi with over 40% of adults and Tennessee with close to 40% of adults had the highest intake of daily soda and fruit drinks.

Eighteen states were included in the survey which provided a good cross-section of the adults in the US. There were some interesting additional findings from this survey. Many of those surveyed did not know the calorie count for the drinks they used regularly and they did not recognize that these calories could contribute to weight gain. The use of sweetened drinks was self-reported so in many cases the actual use might be higher because people tend to under-report less acceptable food choices. Sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened tea and coffee were not included in the survey which might increase the daily sugar intake. And last, and probably most important, sugared drinks rarely provide any important nutrients, except possibly some vitamin C added to fruit beverages, and they often crowd out better choices like water, milk or 100% fruit juice

Bottom line: Reducing the amount of soda and fruits drinks used daily would be a positive step toward a healthier lifestyle and might help with weight control and lower disease risk.

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