So you want to get back on track with your health this year?
More research surfaced late last year that absolutely shocked me. It noted that in today’s “carbonation nation,” half of the North Americans population over age two consume sugary drinks daily, according to a report released by National Center for Health Statistics.
The sugary drinks include sodas, sweetened waters, and energy, sports and fruit beverages.
Not included in the total were diet drinks, 100 per cent fruit juices, sweetened teas and flavoured milk.
The report states that sugary drinks have been linked to “poor diet quality, weight gain, obesity, and in adults, Type 2 diabetes.”
Where is this going to lead our societal health and health-care related costs? I think I know, and it’s not good.
The report says: “Male teens are the most frequent consumers and guzzle about 252 to 273 calories every day from various drinks. Their one-day consumption is more than half the weekly intake suggested by the American Heart Association, which recommends no more than three 12-ounce cans of soda in one week (equivalent to 450 calories).”
The consumption of such sugary drinks has increased over the last 30 years, the report stated.
A 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that soda drinking for youths between the ages of six and 17 was at 37 per cent in the 1970s and then 56 per cent in the 1990s.
This latest research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that from 2005 to 2008, consumption increased again.
“If you look at male children, 70 per cent consume soft drinks on a given day,” said lead author Cynthia Ogden, a CDC epidemiologist who specializes in obesity.
This is such a concern because many popular cans of soft drinks contain up to 12 teaspoons of sugar per can.
The analysis was based on 17,000 participants who were asked to recall what they ate in the last 24 hours in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
As with all health and wellness topics, education is the key to making healthy choices.
Drinking sugary drinks isn’t bad or harmful in moderation, but it is the tip of the iceberg on the road to healthy living.
Making a conscience choice to choose healthier drinks a proportion of the time is a great doable lifestyle change you can make.
Be honest with yourself and reflect on what you put into your body and how you treat it. Be informed and make good choices for you and your family.
—Evan McKay works in personal training, ergonomics and corporate injury prevention.