Nutrition: Sugar Sweetened Beverages
Carbonated soft drinks, specialty coffees, sports drinks, and fruit drinks sweetened with sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the largest single source of added sugar in the American diet.
These drinks are high in calories and low in essential nutrients. Growing evidence indicates that sugar-sweetened beverage consumption may be contributing to rising obesity rates in the United States.
In addition to overweight and obesity, sugary beverages play a role in other health concerns such as dental caries, bone health, and poor diets due to the offset consumption of other foods like fruits, vegetables, and milk.
Public health experts favor limiting these types of drinks. To help encourage the consumption of smart beverage choices, the dietary Guidelines and the Center for Disease Control recommend the following:
- Choose water when thirsty
- Keep a jug of cold water in the refrigerator
- Serve water, low-fat milk, or unsweetened tea or coffee
- Add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon to sparkling water
- Add a splash of 100% fruit juice to sparkling water
- Be a role model for friends and family by choosing healthy beverages
For more information:
- Minnesota Action for Healthy Kids http://take.actionforhealthykids.org
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation – School Beverage Guidelines
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation – Beverage Guideline Toolkit
- University of Minnesota Extension Fact Sheet
- Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control – Re-Think Your Drink http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa