Drinking 200 Sweet Calories per Day

Almost half of Americans drink sugar-sweetened drinks daily, with men consuming close to 200 calories per day from sugary drinks, finds a government report released today.

The survey was conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – you can see the report here. Overall, the report found that men take in an average of 175 calories from sugar drinks on any given day, while women take in 94 calories. (A 12-ounce can of soda has 140 calories.)

Here are some of the report’s key highlights:

  • About one-half of Americans consume sugary drinks on any given day
  • About 25 percent consume less than 200 calories from sugary drinks daily; 5 percent take in at least 567 calories
  • Blacks and Mexican Americans both consume more sugary drinks than whites

In this new CDC survey, sugar-sweetened drinks include fruit drinks (not 100% fruit juice), sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened bottled waters. Researchers pulled data from a large national health survey abbreviated NHANES.

For cancer prevention, AICR recommends people avoid sugary drinks. AICR’s expert report and its updates concluded that regularly consuming sugary drinks leads to weight gain, and extra body fat is linked to increased risk of seven different cancers.

Many health organizations, such as the American Heart Association, have recommended Americans reduce their sugar intake. And sugary drinks is one place to start. But for many sugary-soda lovers, it can be a hard habit to break. If anyone has weaned themselves off sugar-sweetened drinks, please share how.


Diet Soda and Weight Gain? In the News

Drinking diet soda may not lead to a trim waist if two new studies making the news are confirmed. That would take a lot more research. The studies were presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting this week. You can read the abstracts, below.

One study looked at the diet soda habits among 500 people ages 65 to 74. After tracking participants for an average of 3.6 years, the researchers found that people who drank more than two servings of diet soda per day had a waist circumference five times greater than those who drank no diet soda.

The second study was an animal study. This study looked at the effect of the artificial sweetener aspartame to insulin.

The mice tested, all prone to diabetes, were divided into two groups. One group was fed aspartame along with its food. After three months, the aspartame-eating mice had higher blood sugar levels and lower insulin levels than the non-aspartame eating mice. The authors write that this was “consistent with early declines in pancreatic beta-cell function,” suggesting it increases the risk of diabetes. (In this study, the aspartame-eating mice did have lower body weight.)

Neither study is published yet and there is currently conflicting data on the effects of diet soda consumption and weight.

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