Cut the Sugar
The ONE New Year’s Resolution You Must Make!
Many of us have made or are making resolutions. These vary and cover everything from being healthier to saving more money. However, this is one New Year’s Resolution that is a must—My family and I will cut sugary drinks from our diet or consume them only as a special treat.
Why Eliminate Sugary Drinks?
Sugary drinks are the #1 source of extra calories and added sugars in our diet, which accounts for more than a third (35.7%) of the added sugar that we consume1. It is not surprising that sugary drinks are a common source of extra calories—these drinks are available everywhere, are inexpensive, and the container size is on average 5 times larger than during the 1950s1. The most common sugary drinks are soda, fruit drinks, tea and coffee drinks, energy drinks, sport drinks, and sweetened milk.
Too much added sugar from drinks is a problem for many of us. Sodas are just one type of sugary beverage. Yet, on any given day, at least half of Americans consume a soda and 1 in 4 of us consumes more than 1 each day1. The United States consumes so many soft drinks, that on average in 2011, every person consumed almost 45 gallons of soft drinks each year1. Teens and young adults consume the most sugary drinks, and 2 of every 3 boys (age 2 to 19) will consume a sugary drink every day1.
Drinking sugary beverages may seem harmless but it increases the risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. This is because sugary drinks are a source of empty calories. Calories we don’t need—the average American consumes 2,544 calories a day, which is 544 more calories than the recommended amount2,3. Moreover, it is hard to burn off these extra calories with more exercise. As a rule of thumb, assuming you run a 10 minute mile, you will burn 100 calories for every mile that you run. One would have to run almost 3 miles to burn off the calories from drinking just ONE sugary beverage.
Instead of sugary drinks, go natural! Choose water, and flavor it will a slice of orange or lemon, or a sprig of mint. Another good choice is 100% fruit juice.
The ONIE Project Team
1. Public Health Law Center. (2013). Sickly sweet: Why the focus on sugary drinks? Retrieved December 15, 2105 from http://publichealthlawcenter.org/sites/default/files/resources/phlc-fs-Healthy%20Bevs_Sickly%20Sweet%20June%202013.pdf
2. United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. (2015). Loss-adjusted food availability. Retrieved from http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-availability-(per-capita)-data-system/.aspx#26705