Whether it’s soda or energy drinks, teenagers consume a lot of sugary beverages. Health warning labels on sugary beverages may help sway a few teens away from these drinks, at least hypothetically, finds a recent study.
It’s no secret that too much added sugar is bad for your health. Among other health risks, sugar adds calories, which may lead to weight gain. Too much body fat causes about 130,600 cases of cancer in the U.S. each year. Eating lots of sugary foods can also mean less room for cancer-protective foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
For a while, it seemed like Americans couldn’t get enough sugar, but that trend may be turning around suggests a new study. Published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the study finds that intake of added sugar increased from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s and then began to dip, mostly because people were drinking less sugary beverages.
The downward trend in added sugar consumption continued through at least 2012.
Weight gain tends to creep up on us: studies show that young adults typically gain about a pound and half a year. This might not be noticeable from year to year, but over decades it can add up to significant extra weight if it goes unchecked. Gaining weight can be particularly harmful for young adults, perhaps because it’s tough to lose weight, meaning these individuals live with excess body fat for longer. Excess body fat is linked to many types of cancer and other chronic diseases.
The good news is that young adults may not need dramatic changes to diet and exercise to prevent weight gain, as a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests. This randomized clinical trial followed nearly 600 young adults ages 18-35 for an average of three years. About half of the participants had BMIs within the normal range, while the other half were already overweight or obese. The study compared two approaches—small, daily changes to diet and physical activity vs. more dramatic diet and exercise changes—to a control group.