Sugary drinks or “soft” drinks are any beverages with added sugar or other sweeteners(high fructose syrup, sucrose, fruit crush concentrates, and more). This includes soda, cola, tonic, punch, lemonade and other powdered drinks, just like sports and energy drinks.

As a category, these beverages are the only largest source of calories and added sugar within the U.S diet. In other parts of the planet, particularly developing countries, sugary drink consumption is rising drastically because of widespread urbanization and beverage marketing.

Sugary drinks and health

Different Soft Drinks

Drinks are one of the most served refreshments

When it involves ranking beverages best for our health, sugary drinks fall at the underside of the list because they supply such a big amount of calories and virtually no other nutrients. Those that drink sugary beverages don’t feel as full as if they’d eaten the identical calories from solid food and research indicates they also don’t make amends for the high caloric content of those beverages by eating less food.  The typical can of sugar-sweetened soda or punch provides about 150 calories, the majority of them from added sugar. If you were to drink only 1 of those sugary drinks daily and not in the reduction of calories elsewhere, you may gain up to five pounds during a year. Beyond weight gain, routinely drinking these sugar-loaded beverages can increase the danger of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Moreover, higher consumption of sugary beverages has been linked with an increased risk of premature death. 

Sugary drink supersizing and also the obesity epidemic

There is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption will reduce the chances of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Unfortunately, sugary beverages are an everyday drink of choice for millions around the world and a significant contributor to the obesity epidemic. Compounding the matter is that, sugary drink portion sizes have risen dramatically over the past 40 years, resulting in increased consumption among children and adults;

Before the 1950s, standard soft-drink bottles were 6 ounces. Within the 1950s, soft-drink makers introduced larger sizes, including the 12-ounce can, which became widely available in 1960. By the first 1990s, 20-ounce plastic bottles became the norm.  Today, contour-shaped plastic bottles are available in even larger sizes, like 1-litre.

In the 1970s, sugary drinks made up about 4% of U.S. daily calorie intake; by 2001, that saw a rise to about 9%. 

Children and youth within the U.S, averaged 224 calories per day from sugary beverages from 1999 to 2004—nearly 11% of their daily calorie intake.  From 1989 to 2008, calories from sugary beverages increased by 60% in children ages 6 to 11, from 130 to 209 calories per day and therefore the percentage of youngsters consuming them rose from 79% to 91%. In 2005, sugary drinks(soda, energy, sports drinks) were the highest calorie source in teens’ diets(226 calories per day), beating out pizza(213 calories per day). 

Image of soda water bubbles in a soft drink

Soft Drinks are one of the causes of obesity

Although consumption of sugary drinks within the U.S has decreased within the past decade, half the population consumes sugary drinks on a given day; 1 in 4 people get a minimum of 200 calories from such drinks, and 5% get a minimum of 567 calories–equivalent to four cans of soda. These intake levels exceed dietary recommendations for consuming not quite 10% of total daily calories from added sugar. Globally, and in developing countries particularly, sugary drink consumption is rising sporadically thanks to widespread urbanization and beverage marketing. 

The role of sugary drink in marketing

Beverage companies spend billions of dollars marketing their sugary drinks, yet generally rebuff suggestions that their products and marketing tactics play any role within the obesity epidemic. 

In 2013, Coca-Cola launched an “anti-obesity” advertisement stating that sweetened soda and plenty of other foods and drinks have contributed to the obesity epidemic. The corporation advertised its big range of calorie-free beverages and encouraged individuals to require responsibility for their own drink choices and weight. Responses to the advertisement were mixed, with many experts calling it misleading and inaccurate about stating the health dangers of soda.

It’s also important to notice that a big portion of sugary drink marketing is usually aimed directly at children and adolescents. 

A 2019 analysis by the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that children, ages 2-11, saw twice as many ads for sugary drinks than for other beverages and that they also saw fourfold as many ads for certain drinks than adults did. Researchers also analyzed nearly 70 “children’s drinks” (those marketed to folks and/or on to children) and located that sweetened drinks contributed 62% of children’s drink sales in 2018, including $1.2 billion in fruit drinks which is 90% of children’s sweetened drink sales and $146 million in flavoured, sweetened water sales.

Cutting back on sugary drinks

Soft Drinks should be avoided

Soft Drinks are one of the causes of many diseases

When it involves our health, it’s clear that these drinks should be avoided. There’s a variety of healthier beverages which can be consumed in their place, with water being the highest option.

Of course, if you’re a frequent soda drinker, this can be easier said than done. If it’s the carbonation you prefer, give seltzer a try. If the taste is simply too bland, try naturally flavoured drinking water. If that’s still an excessive amount flavoured a jump, add a splash of juice, sliced citrus, or maybe some fresh herbs. You can do that with home-brewed tea also, like the sparkling ice tea with lemon, cucumber, and mint.

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One Comment

  1. Sindhu

    very useful information

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