People who often drink sugary drinks are more likely to face health problems, such as weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis. The latest guidelines [PDF-30.7MB] recommend that people 2 years and older keep their intake of added sugars to less than 10% of their total daily calories.
Sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugars!
The next time you go grocery shopping, read the nutrition labels on the items in your cart to see which ones have the most added sugars. You may be surprised to see the amount of added sugars in some drinks.
Sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugars in the American diet. These sweetened liquids include regular soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened waters. The flavored coffees we grab on the way to work and sweet drinks we order when eating out also count as sugary drinks. Adding sugar and flavored creamer to coffee and tea at home counts, too.
Tricks to Rethink Your Drink
- Choose water (tap or unsweetened, bottled, or sparkling) over sugary drinks.
- Energy drinks are often marketed as products that increase energy. In addition to a lot of added sugar, these products may also contain large amounts of caffeine and other legal stimulants.
- Need more flavor? Add berries or slices of lime, lemon, or cucumber to water.
- Missing fizzy drinks? Add a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
- Need help breaking the habit? Don’t stock up on sugary drinks. Instead, keep a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge.
- Water just won’t do? Reach for drinks that contain important nutrients such as low fat or fat free milk; unsweetened, fortified milk alternatives; or 100% fruit or vegetable juice first. (NOTE: Before infants are 12 months old, do not give fruit or vegetable juice. Juice after 12 months old is not necessary, but 4 ounces or less a day of 100% juice can be provided.)
- At the coffee shop? Skip the flavored syrups or whipped cream. Ask for a drink with low fat or fat free milk, an unsweetened milk alternative such as soy or almond, or get back to basics with black coffee.
- At the store? Read the Nutrition Facts label to choose drinks that are low in calories, added sugars, and saturated fat.
- On the go? Carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
- Still thirsty? Learn how to drink more water.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a common, serious, and costly chronic disease of adults and children. Weight that is higher than what is considered healthy for a given height is described as overweight or obese. Too much sugar is a leading cause of obesity. Obesity is associated with the leading causes of death, including deaths from diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.
The conditions in which we live, work, and play play a big role in our health, for example, little or no access to healthy, affordable foods and beverages, and to safe and convenient places for physical activity affect our ability to make healthy choices.
It is important to meet with your doctor for a Body Mass Index (BMI) screening for overweight and obesity. That way, you can make necessary changes that will help support your daily lifestyle and help you maintain a healthy and happy life!