Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and obesity
- In the U.S., from 2017-2018, the average daily intake of added sugars from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) was 17 teaspoons per child from 2 – 19 years (USDA, 2020). And 17 spoons of sugar is the average amount of sugar found in one 20 oz. bottle of soda. In drinking only one 20 oz bottle of soda per week, an individual consumes 10 pounds of liquid sugar annually. This represents 17 thousand “empty” calories – calories absent of nutrients – so the food contains calories/energy, yet no nutrition.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) play a role in the obesity and chronic disease epidemics, and reducing its intake is crucial to improve overall diet and cardiometabolic health (Malik., V., & Hu, F., 2022). Likewise, in adults, childhood obesity leads to chronic diseases and several other health and emotional problems.
- Promoting the consumption of a wholesome diet for children to include fruits and vegetables, and promoting the consumption of alternative drinks such as water, is crucial for every child’s intellectual and physical development.
Alternatives to sugary drinks
- Water is always the most healthful option. If your kid/s have dificulty drinking enough water, try naturally flavored water. Add orange, lime, or lemon slices and herbs like mint into the water. and let it sit for a few hours. You can even add some sparking water to it. Kids love creating their own flavored water.
- Make smoothies with you kid/s. Explore different flavors and recipes. Making smoothies is easy. Choose a type of milk as a base, add bananas or avocados from creaminess, and add other fruits such as frozen or fresh strawberries for color and extra flavor. Blend until smooth. You can even freeze with a small stick to make popsicles.
- Offer whole cut juicy fruits such as melons during hot days.
- Read fruit juice labels to suss out any added sugar. Compare labels, and make intelligent choices for your kid/s.
Empower your kid/s to become healthy adults by speaking with them about the dangers of sugary drinks and how to reduce consumption.