Enjoying a bottle of your favorite fizzy beverage may not seem like much, but when you add up the amount of sugar you drink in a day, the results may shock you.
“Not all drinks are created equal,” said Miranda Manning, registered dietitian and nutrition coordinator for the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Center for the Advancement of Wellness.
“If you think that your favorite sweet drink has a healthy sugar level, think again. It may actually contain far more sugar than you thought. If you’re not vigilant, sugar-sweetened beverages can push you over your recommended daily calorie level.”
The majority of young adult Oklahomans, ages 18–34, drink sugar-sweetened beverages at least once per day—more than any other state in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“People often underestimate the calories and sugar that they drink,” Manning said. “Many people don’t realize just how many calories and sugar are in their favorite drinks. Many consumers don’t know exactly what is in their beverages, or how it’s been prepared. That’s why it’s so important to educate the public—so they can become better informed.”
High consumption of sugary drinks is associated with obesity in adults and children and studies have shown that each additional 12-ounce soft drink consumed per day by children increases their odds of becoming obese by 60 percent.
People who consume sugary drinks regularly have a 26 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and men who drink one can of a sugary beverage per day have a 20 percent higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack.
The FDA recently finalized changes to the nutrition facts labels on packaged foods to help consumers understand the amounts of added sugar in their foods. The new labels, due in 2018, make it easier for consumers to make better-informed choices when it comes to their added sugar intake.
However, it is a well-known fact that there is an extreme amount of sugar in drinks like soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and juice boxes.
Do you know what’s in your favorite refreshing beverage? We took a look at seven favorites.
A typical 12-ounce soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar—or about 10 sugar packets—amounting to 160 calories, Manning said.
The additional calories consumed through these sugar-sweetened beverages are ‘empty calories’ that have little to no nutritional value, increase hunger and push people over their recommended daily calorie intake.
Do you drink more than one a day? Calculate your sugar intake with this sugar calculator.