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Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Down

Some Americans are sipping fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.

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Sugar-sweetened drinks

There aren’t a lot of highlights to report about in the current state of the American diet, but here’s one bright spot: Heavy consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks has decreased in some segments of the population. (Heavy consumptions is defined as about 500 kcal/day or more; that’s 3.5 12-ounce cans of regular soda or more.)

Over a 13-year period (2003–2004 to 2015–2016) consumption decreased from 10.9% to 3.3% among children and 12.7% to 9.1% in adults. As reported in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The study authors believe the drop likely can be tied to beverage taxes and ordinances mandating restaurants offer healthful beverages to children. Still, there was a significant increase (1.8% to 4%) in consumptions of sugar-sweetened drinks among adults ages 60 and older. There was no significant change among 40- to 59-year-olds and non-Mexican Hispanic adults. Men had higher levels of heavy sugar-sweetened beverage intake across the study period than did women.

See also: Sugary Drinks and Warning Labels

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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