Do sugary drinks make you fat?
Absolutely yes, says a 2006 Harvard analysis of 30 studies.† Prime villains:† sugary carbonated sodas.
- A 12 ounce can of soda or cola contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar.
- Drinking one can of soda or cola a day can pile on 15 pounds a year.
- Kids who drank at least three soft drinks a day had a 50% higher body mass index than kids who drink less
- Increasing intake of soft drinks increases risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of weight.
What to do
Cut back on sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, cola and fruit drinks, and drink more water, low-fat milk and small amounts of fruit juice.
If you are concerned about calories, make sure that you read a snackís Nutrition Label closely.† Manufacturers are required to provide calorie content based on FDA standards serving size, but not the total amount in the package.
Therefore, you could be eating up to four times the number of calories listed on the label if you down the whole thing.
Check out these examples:
One 20-ounce bottle of Coca Cola, has 100 calories listed on label (one serving = 8 ounces) but there are 2.5 servings with 250 calories in the entire bottle.
One king-size Snickers bar.† There are 170 calories listed on the label (one serving = 1/3 bar) but there are 510 calories in the entire bar.
We all like our crunchy treats and like to think that if itís crunchy, it wonít make us fat.† However, one 3.75 ounce bag of Traditional-Flavor Chex Mix has 130 calories listed on the label for one serving (one serving = just over one once) but there are 455 calories in the in entire package.† Can you stop eating them before the bag is empty?
A 4-pack of Keebler Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies has 80 calories listed on its label per serving (one serving = one cookie) but there are 320 calories in a 4-cookie package.† And, who can stop at one cookie anyway?
Food Court Crime
The last time we looked, there were 1,230 calories in a Nachos Bell Grande, Cinnamon Twists, and large Pepsi from Taco Bell.† You would have to spend 209 minutes (thatís more than 3 hours) raking your lawn to burn that many calories.
The cost of upsizing
There are about 576 calories in a medium fries and coke at McDonalds.† However, large fries and Coke have 895.† Thatís a swing of 319 calories for a larger serving of fries.† Do you need them?
Teenagers are likely to eat the whole package of whatever is available to them.† The result?
The 90ís was the fat decade for American teens
Over a ten year period spanning the 1990ís American teenagers consumed an average of 110 to 165 calories each day more than they needed, resulting in an extra 10 pounds of body weight, according to a recent analysis by the Harvard School of Public Health.
For over weight teens this so-called energy gapĒ was even greater, 700 to 1,000 calories more than was needed for normal growth, physical activity and body function and an extra 58 pounds of extra weight.
For the study, researchers measured the height and weight of 5,000 children between 1998 and 1994.† They projected what would be normal height and weight gain for this group 10 years later and compared it with changes based on height and weight assessments done between 1999 and 2002.
Researchers said that earlier studies suggested there was a much smaller energy gap, at least for adults.† The new study is the first to estimate the gap for children.† ďThe energy gap becomes bigger and harder to close as kids accumulate more excess weight,Ē lead author Y. Claire Wang stated.
Over the last 40 years, obesity rates have tripled for children and adolescents aged 6 to 19.† One-third of all children now are obese or over weight.
The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.
The freshman fourteen
Youíve may have heard of the freshman fourteen.† If kids gain the weight they do under momís watchful eye, what are they going to do when they go to college and mom isnít there and junk food is available almost any time and any where?
- They typically put on weight.† Fourteen pounds is a typical gain.
- The same rules should apply to college age kids as teenagers.
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