ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
CANCER
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
CAREGIVING
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
DASH Diet Has Extra Benefits for Women's Health
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
FITNESS
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Lower Vitamin D Levels in Blacks May Up Heart Risks
Simple Holistic Approach to Fight the Common Cold
Hand-Washing Habits Still Need Improvement: Survey Says
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
The Unmedicated Mind
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
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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