Sugary beverages are the leading dietary cause of overweight/obesity in the United States. DE HEAL encourages all individuals to reduce their intake of sugary beverages, as a way to improve the weight status and health of Delawareans.
What is a sugary beverage?
Sugary beverages include:
- Regular soda, lemonade, fruit punch, Kool-aid, Hawaiian Punch and flavored drinks (e.g. Sunny-D) that aren’t labeled “100% fruit juice”.
- Sports drinks e.g. Gatorade; energy drinks like Rockstar & Red Bull.
- Sweet tea and some flavored waters with added sugar (check labels).
What makes soda and other sugary beverages so bad?
Let’s start with these facts:
Soda and sugary beverages are the largest contributor to the obesity epidemic, a crisis that affects more than one-third of all adults and 17% of kids.
- In children, for each additional sugary beverage that is consumed a day, the risk of obesity jumps by 60%.
- Sugary beverages like soda contain “empty calories” in that they don’t provide much in the way of nutritional value. Water is your best bet.
- The average American drinks about 45 gallons of sugary beverages a year. Drinking one soda a day is the same as eating 50 pounds of sugar in a year!
- Regular drinking of sugary beverages doubles the risk of dental cavities.
- Frequent consumption of soft drinks may also increase the risk of osteoporosis, especially in people who replace calcium-rich milk with soda.
- Sixty percent of soda sold in the U.S. contains caffeine. Drinking excess caffeine causes jitteriness and anxiety; withdrawal symptoms like headaches
- can occur if you stop drinking caffeinated beverages abruptly.
- Sports drinks should be used only after intense exercise lasting more than 60 minutes; they are designed more for endurance athletes. Unnecessary consumption is linked to excess weight gain in both adults and children.
- Giving up 1 soda per day from your usual intake could lead to a 15 pound weight loss in one year – just from that one change!
How much sugar is in YOUR drink?
Simple answer: Look at the nutritional label. The number of grams of sugar (g) ÷ 4 = teaspoons of sugar.
More than 1 serving per container?
Multiply: teaspoons of sugar per serving X number of servings = teaspoons of sugar per container
(Example: 2 servings per container: 10 teaspoons X 2 servings = 20 teaspoons per container)
Pledge to Rethink Your Drink Today!
Rethink Your Drink Videos and Other Resources
Los Angeles registered dietitian explains how much sugar is in soda and suggests a healthier alternative.
Mock television commercial that shows how much sugar is added to sweetened beverages.
Liquid Candy: How Soft Drinks Are Harming Americans’ Health
Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D. Center for Science in the Public Interest
(link to pdf provided)
Rethink Your Drink
Pamphlet from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Are You Pouring on the Pounds?
New York City Health Department campaign materials
Sugary Drinks: How Much Do We Consume?
A Neighborhood Report by the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem District New York Public Health Offices
(link to pdf. provided)
Tips for Parents
Hand-out by Nemours Health and Prevention Services
Nemours “Almost None Sugar Shock Kit”
Instructions to create your own display/demo
Directed at children, this healthy tip of the day encourages them to cut down on soda.