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Fact Sheet: Drinking down the Pounds

by Bethaney Wallace on Jun 05, 2012

Obesity – An estimated two-thirds of adults are overweight and half of those are considered obese. In other words, one-third of Americans are obese. Among children between the ages of 2 and 19, nearly one-third are overweight.

Obesity and Your Health – Being overweight and obesity are linked to a laundry list of medical conditions including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, endometrial, breast and colon cancers, hypertension, dyslipidemia (high amount of fat in the blood), stroke, liver, and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, and gynecological problems including infertility.

Obesity Costs – The costs associated with weight-caused illnesses account for as much as $168 billion or 16.5 percent of total U.S. medical expenditures. In California, these conditions cause $21 billion in lost productivity and healthcare expenses.

Sugary Beverages Contribute Greatly to the Obesity Epidemic – Scientific evidence links sugary beverage consumption to a 43 percent increase in daily calories that Americans consumed between 1977 and 2001.

Sugar calories we consume in liquid form are considerably less satiating than sugar calories consumed in solid foods, thus it’s hard to determine when we are full.

These beverage calories are usually what push consumers over our daily limit, leading to unexpected weight gain.

In other words, the calories we drink are in addition to what is eaten, rather than replacing them. Adults who drink one or more soda drinks daily are 27 percent more likely to be overweight or obese, regardless of income or ethnicity. In addition, children who drink a soda every day are 60 percent more likely to be obese.

Important Note: Sugary beverages are not just soda, and refer to all beverages with added sugars including carbonated soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks, store-bought flavored and enhanced waters, coffee concoctions, sweetened teas, and energy drinks.