Sugary Drinks Addiction in America
By Maggie Wirtanen | August 15, 2012
Why be concerned about the sugar in your children’s drinks? How about the stat that children consuming just one 8-ounce sugar-sweetened drink daily increase their odds for obesity by 60%?1 And that doesn’t matter what ‘sugar-flavored’ drink you might be providing -- that juice or fruit drink could be no better than that full-flavor Coke or Pepsi. Yet, we as parents cringe at that! Same could be true for ice teas, energy drinks, and flavored waters, which sometimes make health claims about having natural ingredients or offering fewer calories. When it comes down to it, sugary drinks are the top source of added sugar in the human diet. Period. They are also the top source of calories for teens, according to a Yale University report.
Children ages 4 to 8 should be consuming just 15 grams of added sugar each day, according to the American Health Association. Consider that a 6-ounce Capri Sun Original has approximately 14 grams of added sugar alone (No seconds for you, little lady!) and you can see how easy it is for a child to pass that threshold. But what does this mean on a broader perspective? How are we faring as a society? Are we ‘drinking’ too much sugar as a whole? As a matter of fact, total sweetened-beverage consumption reached 13.8 billion gallons in the U.S. last year. Put that in smaller numbers and it comes to some 45 gallons of sugary-beverages consumed per person in the U.S. Try and close the fridge door around that! Our infographic below provides more perspective on just how pervasive sugar is in our liquid diets and details on how you could sidestep some of its potential dangers.
How Many Lives Could a Soda Tax Save, UCSF, January 2012
New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks, The New York Times, May 2012
Sugars and Carbohydrates, American Heart Association, June 2012
For a complete list of sources, please view the infographic.