Americans are cutting back on sugary drinks?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Both children and adults in the U.S. have reduced their consumption of sugary drinks over the past decade.
WHAT WE KNOW
Beverages that are labeled as juice drinks will have varying amounts of juice, sometimes as little as 10%, with other ingredients added to them such as water and sugar. Added sugar may appear on the label as high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, corn syrup, or cane sugar. Some nutrients, such as vitamin C, may also be added. However, what juice drinks are lacking are many of the other nutrients and healthful substances that are present in 100% fruit juice, as well as the natural flavor from fruit to cultivate the taste of the whole fruit. Non-diet sodas contain a large amount of sugar. A 12-ounce can of cola contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Sports drinks also contribute to daily carbohydrate intake. They contain up to 5 teaspoons of sugar per 12-ounce serving.¹ A recent study shows that sugary juice drink consumption among Americans has decreased over the past decade.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
About 51,500 people were involved in a 12 year-long study in which researchers collected data using 24-hour diet recalls. The focus of the study was on “sugary” drink consumption, and for the purpose of the study “sugary” drinks included regular soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and sugared coffee and teas. Overall there was a decline in sugary drink consumption from 2000 to 2010. Kids got an average of 68 fewer calories per day from sugary drinks in 2010 than in 2000, and teens had the largest drop with 84 fewer calories per day. Adults received 45 fewer calories per day from the sugary beverages. There was no corresponding decline in obesity rates, however.²
Sodas, sports drinks and other beverages containing large amounts of sugar are not nutrient-rich sources of hydration. Although fruit juice does contain natural sugars from fruit, it also contains essential vitamins and minerals. For children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that sweetened beverages and naturally sweet beverages such as 100% fruit juice should be limited to 4-6 ounces per day for children 1 to 6 years old, and limited to 8-12 ounces per day for children 7-18 years old.³ Higher amounts can lead to excess calorie intake. When sweetened beverages are consumed, 100% fruit juice is the better choice. For adults, 1-2 servings (4-8 ounces) per day as juice is a reasonable amount and can help meet fruit and vegetable consumption goals.
Fruits and vegetables can help contribute to your daily recommended intake of fluids, so be sure to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet each day!
¹ “Harvard School of Public Health » The Nutrition Source » How Sweet Is It?” The Nutrition Source
. Harvard University, n.d. Web. 01 June 2013. View Article
² Ki, Brian, Tala Fakhouri, Soyhun Park, et al. “Trends in Sugar-sweetened Beverage Consumption among Youth and Adults in the United States: 1999–2010.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 15 May 2013. Web. 01 June 2013. View Article
³ HealthyChildren.org. Web. 11 May 2013. View Article