The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) likes stats. They run surveys on a myriad of topics. And they try to figure out not just how to control disease, but how to prevent it. When it comes to obesity and diabetes, the CDC would very much like to learn what are the causes.
They had a pretty good hunch, so they ran a survey to learn about the soft drink consumption habits of Americans. Here’s what they found: we drink way more sugary drinks than we should. In fact, the America Heart Association cites sugary soft drinks as the number one source of calories in America today.
The group drinking the most colas is teenage boys – with a daily consumption of 273 calories.
That’s almost 2 cans of coke per day!
Or 17 teaspoons of sugar added to their bloodstream.
Or 2.5 added pounds of weight per month.
Teenage girls drink less, just 10 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Only 1.7 pounds of monthly weight gain.
The data is from a survey the CDC conducted in the years 2005-2008. (Side note: It makes you wonder why the government took 3 years to publish this report…)
According to the American Beverage Association, a trade group counting Coca Cola and Pepsi as its gold members, caloric soft drink consumption has dipped in the last few years. Mostly because consumers are shifting to diet drinks, an unfortunate mistake that is the result of genius advertising.
What’s interesting is that the CDC stats above don’t take into account fruit juices. This may come as a shock, but even 100% natural fruit juices are very high sugar, placing them in the “treat” department alongside cola, rather than the hydration department together with water. Imagine how much higher the calories would be if we threw the morning OJ into the mix.
So, do you know what your family’s soft drink consumption stats are? How are you going to reduce those numbers?
What to do at the supermarket:
If you need encouragement, here’s a stat you will appreciate – an average family of 4 people will save $500 a year switching from soft drinks to tap water.