Are we rethinking our drink?

We’ve done it! Our efforts paid off! A recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports findings that soda consumption actually decreased from 1999-2008.

Don’t celebrate so fast. Other sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) like sports and energy drinks increased…three-fold.

Using NHANES data the investigators of the study assessed the beverage consumption patterns of children, adolescents, young adults (ug-hum, TECH STUDENTS PAY ATTENTION), and middle-aged and older adults. They looked specifically at “heavy” SSB consumers who were defined as obtaining 500kcal or more per day from four types of SSB categories: 1) regular soda, 2) regular nondiet non-100% fruit juices, 3) nondiet nonmilk based beverage concentrates, coffee and tea sweetened with sugar, and all other SSB, and 4) nondiet sports and energy drinks. Five hundred calories of sugar is about 31 teaspoons or about 3.5 cans of regular soda per day.

So you may be asking yourself: “What’s a SSB anyway?” Simply, its any beverage with added sugar. Iced tea mix? Probably. 100% fruit juice? Nope. Fruit drink? Yup. Your super-macho-frappe-mocha-latte? Sorry, but yes.

The study found that teens and young adults reduced their soda intake by about 7%, but sports drinks and energy drinks increased from 4% to 12%.

Taken with a grain of salt…oops, that’s another health issue probably for them over in the Translational Obesity Research IGEP…the results do show signs of promise that the message to reduce soda intake has been well-received. However, work still is needed to educate people that 1) soda isn’t the only SSB culprit, 2) energy and sports drinks may look like healthier choices, but they are also significant sources of added sugars, and 3) replacing sugary beverages with noncaloric ones or, even better, pure drinking water can only benefit their health in the longrun.


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