ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
CANCER
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Get to Know the Pap Test
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
CAREGIVING
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Add your Article

Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- If you're like many Americans, soda and coffee drinks have become a staple of your daily diet.

But the findings from a new study may make you drop that super-sized, sweetened beverage.

Published in the January issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the research found that people are now drinking almost 50 additional calories of sweetened beverages daily compared to two decades ago, for an average of about 300 calories daily coming from such drinks. So, even if you have the exact same diet as you did 20 years ago and your activity level hasn't changed, those seemingly harmless 50 extra daily calories could cause you to pack on an additional five pounds every year.

"People are taking in enormous amounts of calories in liquid form," said study author Sara Bleich, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "If you're looking for an easy way to lose weight, just stop drinking soda and other sweetened beverages."

Cutting 300 liquid calories from your daily diet translates into about a 2.5 pound weight loss each month.

For the study, Bleich and her colleagues compared data from two national surveys that are part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). One survey covered 1988 to 1994, and the other ran from 1999 to 2004.

The first study included 15,979 adults over age 20, and the second included 13,431 U.S. adults. All completed 24-hour dietary recall information, including whether or not they had consumed a sugar-sweetened beverage. For the study, sugar-sweetened beverages included soda, sport drinks, fruit drinks, punches, low-calorie drinks, sweetened tea and other sweetened drinks.

The percentage of adults who drank sugar-sweetened beverages increased from 58 percent to 63 percent, and the average daily caloric intake from sugar-sweetened drinks increased by 46 calories a day, according to the researchers.

Young adults drank far more calories from sugar-sweetened beverages than did the elderly, with young blacks consuming the highest percentage of sugar-sweetened beverages.

The researchers also found that overweight adults who were trying to lose weight were less likely to drink sugar-sweetened beverages, yet still consumed an average of 278 calories a day during the second study period.

"U.S. adults are consuming a very large amount of sugar-sweetened beverages, and it has increased over time," said Bleich. "I think there are two main drivers to the increase: One is availability. Sugar-sweetened beverages are everywhere. And, two, the container size has increased, so that on any given consumption occasion, people are drinking more."

"Everyone is definitely used to super-sizing," said registered dietician Samantha Heller, host of the satellite radio program, The Samantha Heller Health and Nutrition Show on the NYU Langone Medical Center's Doctor Radio. "If you look at old 8-ounce Coke bottles, they look tiny, but a 20-ounce bottle looks normal."

"One 12-ounce can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, and most people are drinking more than 12 ounces," she added.

Heller said that she realizes it can be hard to make a change. "When you drink something that tastes good and gives you an energy boost, it's awfully hard to make a connection between those feelings and the fact that those drinks can contribute to overweight, obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease."

Still, she advised, "You need to limit your daily intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. To give yourself an incentive, take the money you would've spent on those drinks and put it in a jar, and in a couple of months, buy something fun for yourself or your family."

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers information on evaluating the calorie content of foods and beverages.



SOURCES: Sara Bleich, Ph.D., assistant professor, health policy and management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., host, satellite radio program, The Samantha Heller Health and Nutrition Show on NYU Langone Medical Center's Doctor Radio; January 2009, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Last Updated: Jan. 09, 2009

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