Sugary Drinks Just Don’t Stack-Up

The CDC and The American Beverage Association estimate that sugar-sweetened drinks account for approximately 7% of American adults’ daily caloric intake.

What do you make of that statistic? Well, the CDC  and other health-related organizations feel strongly that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. They feel that this rate of consumption is linked to weight gain, obesity and plays a role in diabetes. Then you have The American Beverage Association’s take. The ABA explains that a whopping 93% of daily calories come from other sources while a mere 7% comes from sugary beverages implying that it’s no big deal.

We can go back and forth all day on whether or not it’s a danger to consume  7% of our daily diet in the form of sugar.  What I’d rather point out—and this is the conversation that I’m not hearing—is what’s missing from a diet that’s so sugar-heavy?  Where are the nutrients? Why consume so many empty-calories? I think it’s safe to assume that if we are drinking this many sugary beverages, we are missing out on a lot of other healthy options.  100% fruit juice, green tea, vegetable juice…and dun dun dun…water, are all potentially missing from our daily diets if we’re downing cans of pop, energy drinks and artificially-flavored (and sweetened) fruit beverages (More on “fruit drinks”  below.)

Never fear, though.  We are health-conscious (after all, you are spending your free time reading a health-related blog) and making efforts to lead a life of wellness. So, I urge you to take a closer look at your daily beverage intake (and that of your family’s) and make a note in your food journal when it is a sugar-sweetened beverage.  Also, remember to consider serving sizes…A trip to your local café might rack up a couple of servings of sugary drinks if you order syrups (mochas, lattes, frappes). Finally, whiz by the fluff and pictures on bottles or cans of beverages and take a hard look at the nutrition label.

As always, sugary drinks aren’t necessarily something you need to cut out from your diet altogether, but if you see room for improvement, maybe setting a goal related to reducing you and your family’s sugar-sweetened drinks would be a good start for you.

Soda's Evil Twin
Created by: Health Science