24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Nutrition
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Get Your '5 a Day' Fruits and Veggies to Live LongerMediterranean Diet Could Keep Aging Brains SharpSwitch to Plant-Based Diet Could Protect Older Women's BrainsAHA News: Lower Your Sodium, and Blood Pressure Will FollowDaily Coffee Tied to Lower Risk for Heart FailureAHA News: Avocados Are a Healthy Option Super Bowl Sunday – and Year-RoundMany U.S. Adults Aren't Getting Healthy Amounts of Fruits, VegetablesWhole Wheat Better for You Than White Bread, Study ConfirmsWhat's the Most Nutritious Way to Juice Your Vegetables?Pandemic May Be Affecting How Parents Feed Their KidsOmega-3s From Fish Might Curb Asthma in Kids, But Genes MatterAHA News: 5 Things Nutrition Experts Want You to Know About New Federal Dietary GuidelinesJust 2% of U.S. Teens Eat Recommended Amount of VeggiesHealthy Eating Could Delay Onset of Parkinson's DiseaseFried Food a Big Factor in Heart Disease, StrokeStrict Low-Carb Diets Could Push Type 2 Diabetes Into Remission, But Effect FadesClimate Change Is Spurring Malnutrition in Kids WorldwidePlant-Based Diet Brings Better 'Microbiome,' Healthier LifeAHA News: Trendy Microgreens Offer Flavor You Can Grow at HomeMediterranean Diet Could Help Stop Prostate Cancer's SpreadWhen Soda Tax Repealed, Soda Sales Rebound: StudyCan 2 Nutrients Lower Your Risk for Parkinson's?AHA News: Ring In the New Year With a 'Mocktail'New Dietary Guidelines for Americans Ignore Recommendations on Sugar, AlcoholWhich Seafood Has the Highest Amount of Microplastics?Could Going Vegetarian Lower Kids' Asthma Risk?1 in 7 Studies in Nutrition Journals Have Food Industry TiesAHA News: Teatime Can Be Good for Your HealthSugary Drinks' Effect on Hormones Could Spur Weight Gain: StudySocial Media Messages Can Lower People's Meat IntakeAHA News: The Best Foods for Brain HealthGet Rid of Red Meat to Help Your Heart: StudyMetabolites From Food Could Affect Your Stroke RiskAHA News: Eating Foods That Promote Inflammation May Worsen Heart FailureCocoa Might Give Your Brain a Boost: StudyAHA News: Teens' Ultra-Processed Diet Puts Their Hearts at RiskMediterranean Diet Cuts Women's Odds for DiabetesJunk Food, Booze Often Star in America's Hit MoviesVegan Diets Tied to Higher Bone Fracture RiskAHA News: Tackling Turkey Day: Strategies for a Healthy FeastAHA News: Inconsistent Mealtimes Linked to Heart RisksHot Discovery: Chili Peppers Might Extend Your LifeAHA News: Is Honey Healthy? How to Make Sure You Don't Get StungNearly 1 in 5 Americans Follows 'Special' DietTips for a Healthier Holiday SeasonDiet Drinks Don't Do Your Heart Any FavorsAHA News: Persimmons Pack Plenty of Nutritional PunchRestricting Promotions of Sweet Foods Cuts Sugar, Not Profits: StudyWhat Foods, Medicines Can Lower Your Colon Cancer Risk?Americans Are Cutting Back on Sugary Drinks
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Wellness and Personal Development

Americans Are Cutting Back on Sugary Drinks

HealthDay News
by By Cara Roberts Murez
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Sep 24th 2020

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking lots of sugary beverages can wreak havoc on your health, but new research finds more Americans are turning away from those high-calorie drinks.

And that includes many people who used to drink large quantities of sweetened beverages -- the equivalent of 3.5 cans of soda daily.

"Our study found the percentage of children and adults who are heavy [sugar-sweetened beverage] drinkers has declined significantly over time," said study author Kelsey Vercammen. She's a doctoral degree candidate in the department of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in Boston.

For the study, the researchers reviewed data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2003 to 2016, studying responses from more than 21,000 children (aged 2 through 19 years) and 32,000 adults.

The investigators found that the percentage of heavy consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages -- 500 calories or more daily -- among children declined from 11% to 3%. The percentage of heavy sugar-sweetened beverage consumers among adults dropped from 13% to 9%.

"Our research team was particularly interested in looking at the heavy sugar-sweetened beverage consumers because these individuals are the ones who are obviously drinking the most sugar-sweetened beverages, so we think that they likely face the biggest health risks," Vercammen said.

Potential explanations for the recent steep decline in intake include the impact of beverage taxes imposed by local jurisdictions, ordinances that have required serving healthy beverages with children's meals instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, and public health campaigns about the harms of sugary drinks, Vercammen noted.

"We think that these efforts combined with the awareness that they have generated in the public may be driving some of the declines that we've seen in the recent years of data," she added.

For a couple of groups, the results were not as positive.

Adults aged 40 to 59 saw no reduction in heavy sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. Older adults had a slight increase in consumption. Adults who are Hispanic, but not Mexican, also had no reduction in consumption. Reasons could include that racial/ethnic minorities are often disproportionately exposed to and targeted for marketing of sugary drinks, Vercammen said. In addition, adults aged 40 to 59 grew up at a time when there was increasing availability and marketing of ultra-processed foods, she said.

According to Dr. Lona Sandon, program director in the department of clinical nutrition at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, "The habits we develop throughout young childhood and teenage years, we do tend to carry those eating habits throughout the rest of our life whether they're good or bad."

Sugary drinks include not just soda, but energy drinks, sweetened teas and coffees, and beverages like fruit punch that are considered juice but aren't 100% juice. Some drinks, like the bottled teas, "kind of masquerade as a healthier choice," Sandon said.

Most sugary beverages contain a lot of calories, but little or no nutrition, she added.

The study didn't consider whether people are consuming fewer overall calories, are instead replacing sweetened drinks with foods or what they're drinking instead of sugary beverages. It noted past research, which showed that consumption is high in the United States, with about 60% of kids and 50% of adults consuming at least one sugar-sweetened beverage on a typical day.

Though there may be an occasional reason to drink a sugar-sweetened beverage, it's best to limit added sugars to no more than 10% of your calories, Sandon said.

"How we can get more adults to decrease and change their habits around that is a good question, but certainly with the level of type 2 diabetes, in particular, and the level of obesity that we see in the population, sugar-sweetened beverages are an easy place to start making that difference in dietary patterns," Sandon said.

Future research could include reviewing recently released data for two more years, 2017 to 2018, Vercammen said, as well as looking at the impact of the pandemic on sugar-sweetened beverage consumption.

"It would be interesting to look at children's diets and whether their sugar-sweetened beverage intake has changed as a result of COVID-19 and school closures," Vercammen said. "I think continued surveillance is definitely important, especially at this time."

The study was published online Sept. 24 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

More information

The Harvard School of Public Health has more on sugary drinks.