Are you drinking your way to health issues?

Authored by Emily Cooke, RD

A 12 oz soft drink has around 150 calories in it. Now, this wouldn’t be so bad if those calories were nourishing and helped to fill you up; but that’s not the case. Pretty much 100% of the calories from soda are from added sugars and there is a fair amount of evidence that liquid calories, like those from sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs), do very little to help you feel full. In other words, you could probably eat the same amount of food at a meal whether or not you have the 150 calorie soda.

Did you know it only takes an extra 100 calories per day to put on about 10 pounds of extra body fat over a year? That’s VERY easy to do if you are drinking SSBs every day and not compensating for the extra calories. Keep in mind that SSBs include more than just soda. Juice drinks like fruit punch and lemonade, sports drinks, energy drinks, powered drink mixes and sweetened teas all count.

But potential weight gain isn’t the only detriment to regularly drinking SSBs. Excess intake of added sugars (of which the #1 source in the American diet is SSBs) has been linked to an increased risk of tooth decay and developing both diabetes and heart disease.

Check out “Nursing Your Sweet Tooth” for a great visual describing sugar consumption in America and how this additive can have harmful effects on the body.

Nursing Your Sweet Tooth Header Image and Link
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For more information about sugar sweetened beverages and making healthier beverage choices, check out the “0” message materials on our Parent Resources Page.