Your health: The not-so-sweet reality of what Americans drink | SierraSun.com

Your health: The not-so-sweet reality of what Americans drink

Special to the Sun

Are we sweet enough?

Here are some more not-so-sweet statistics to consider:

• Children and teenagers who regularly drink soft drinks and other sweetened drinks are up to 60 percent more likely to be overweight.

• Strong evidence indicates that sugar-sweetened soft drinks contribute to the development of diabetes. People who consume sugary drinks regularly—1 to 2 cans a day or more—have a 26 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks. 

• The Nurses’ Health Study, which tracked the health of nearly 90,000 women over two decades, found that women who drank more than two servings of a sugary beverage each day had a 40 percent higher risk of heart attacks or death from heart disease than women who rarely drank sugary beverages.

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — Doctors and public health advocates alike are alarmed by the amount of sugar Americans consume.

The World Health Organization recently promoted new guidelines that recommend consuming less than 5 percent of our total daily calories from added sugars.

For adults at a normal body mass index, 5 percent would be around 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, of sugar.

While food does account for a large portion of the added sugar in our diet, many experts recommend cutting back on sugary beverages to easily reduce daily intake.

To see how quickly liquid sugars add up, here are some shocking sugar facts:

• A 20-ounce bottle of soda pop contains 65 grams of sugar on an average, which is equivalent to the amount of sugar in 5 Little Debbie rolls.

• 15.2 ounces of fruit juice contains 49 grams of sugar, which is about the same amount of sugar found in 10 Oreos.

• 16 ounces of commercially sweetened ice tea contains 46 grams of sugar, which is about the amount of sugar in 16 Hershey Kisses.

It’s important to pay attention to the amount of added sugars in foods and beverages.

Naturally occurring sugars found in whole fruits have less of an effect on blood sugar and whole fruit contains fiber, which helps to slow its absorption.

Choosing water instead of sugar sweetened beverages can save you as many as 247 calories daily, if you are consuming an average of 20 ounces a day.

It is also important to help children develop a taste for water. Children naturally enjoy sweetened beverages, but drinking too many may lead them to expect that every drink should be sugary.

This article was provided to the Sun by the B-FIT team. B-FIT has dedicated the month of April to “Sugar Busters.” The goal is to create awareness of all of the added sugars in our beverages and foods. For more information, contact Tahoe Forest Health System’s Wellness Neighborhood team, promoting “Rethink Healthy,” at 530-587-3769.