|Study: Half of Americans drink sugary beverages daily|
|Written by Katie Klein, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Monday, 05 September 2011 19:16|
Some people argue whether it is called pop, soda or even soda pop. But what can be agreed upon is sugary drinks equal empty calories; calories which over half of the country’s population consume on a daily basis.
According to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 percent of Americans sip sugary drinks, like soft drinks, sweetened waters and energy, sports and fruit drinks at least once every day.
Beverages spiked with sugar have been considered a cause for the number of health problems concerning Americans in recent years.
“The main issue with drinking sugared drinks every day is the amount of calories consumed that have no or limited nutritional value, which can lead to obesity,” Dr. Jean Swearingen, medical director for Student Health Services, said.
Swearingen added that obesity is associated with an increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. There is also an increased risk for dental problems with regular consumption of sugars.
These health factors prompted Illinois lawmakers to create a bill that would increase the tax on soft drinks earlier this year. Sen. William Delgado is sponsoring the bill and, according to WBBM Newsradio 780, wants to hear from both sides of the issue before the bill is voted on in the Public Health Committee. As of late July, the bill is still being pursued by the Illinois General Assembly.
Many states are taking a closer look at what people are eating and drinking, and as Dianne Feasley, registered dietitian for Campus Dining Services, explained, drinking soda is a current trend among students.
“Some students replace milk with soda and sometimes this makes them exceed normal daily calorie limits. Marketing plays a big part in that process since students are always seeing sugary drinks advertised,” Feasley said.
CNN reported the recent CDC study has groups looking at advertisers for soft drinks and what can be done to lessen their hold on the market.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has started a campaign called Life’s Sweeter, which targets minority groups, civic associations and religious communities to spread the word about reducing soda consumption.
The study, which the CDC said is the first to offer national statistics for kids and adults, stated adults get between 5 and 8 percent of their daily caloric intake from sugary drinks. Results also showed teenage boys consume the most sugary beverages.
Decreasing the consumption of sugary drinks would be a major public health victory, according to the CDC in their study, and would help to lower costs of health care on all levels.
Chicago’s WLS-TV reported the CDC’s campaign is trying to decrease consumption of soda and sugary drinks by two thirds, which is closer to the American Heart Association’s recommendation of three cans per person per week.