Tag Archives: sugary drinks

Current obesity epidemic may be result of childhood sugar intake decades ago

Bad habits have long tails it seems.

Current obesity rates in adults in the United States could be the result of dietary changes that took place decades ago, according to a new study published by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“While most public health studies focus on current behaviors and diets, we took a novel approach and looked at how the diets we consumed in our childhood affect obesity levels now that we are adults,” said Alex Bentley, head of UT’s Department of Anthropology and lead researcher of the study, which was published in Economics and Human Biology.

photo of four assorted color beverages

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Consumption of excess sugar, particularly in sugar-sweetened beverages, is a known contributor to both childhood and adult obesity. Many population health studies have identified sugar as a major factor in the obesity epidemic. One problem with this theory, however, has been that sugar consumption in the US began to decline in the late 1990s while obesity rates continued to rise well into the 2010s.

That increase shows in the numbers: By 2016, nearly 40 percent of all adults in the US–a little over 93 million people–were affected by obesity. In Tennessee alone, the adult obesity rate more than tripled, from about 11 percent in 1990 to almost 35 percent in 2016. By 2017, however, obesity in Tennessee had fallen 2 percent from the previous year.

If high-sugar diets in childhood have long-lasting effects, the changes we see now in adult obesity rates may have started with diets decades ago, when those adults were children.

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Filed under childhood obesity, obesity, sugar, sugar addiction, sugary soda, Uncategorized

Higher consumption of sugary beverages linked with increased risk of mortality – Harvard

The more sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) people consumed, the greater their risk of premature death—particularly death from cardiovascular disease, and to a lesser extent from cancer, according to a large long-term study of U.S. men and women. The risk of early death linked with drinking SSBs was more pronounced among women.

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The study, led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, also found that drinking one artificially sweetened beverage (ASB) per day instead of a sugary one lowered the risk of premature death. But drinking four or more ASBs per day was associated with increased risk of mortality in women.

The study was published in the journal Circulation.

“Our results provide further support to limit intake of SSBs and to replace them with other beverages, preferably water, to improve overall health and longevity,” said Vasanti Malik, research scientist in the Department of Nutrition and lead author of the study. Continue reading

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Filed under cancer, cardiovascular diseases, soft drinks, sugary soft drinks

Sugar is Sugar – Tufts

Like you, I hope, I am working on eating intelligently. That means cutting back on the junk foods and nutrients that might taste great, but carry lots of empty calories or other elements that mess up my system in one way or another.

Here is Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter on that great bugaboo – sugar.

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In addition to those white crystals in your sugar bowl, added sugars come in many forms, including corn syrup, honey, molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, agave syrup, fruit juice concentrates, and evaporated cane juice. Most forms of sugars are chemically similar, so switching from one kind of sugar to another won’t make a huge difference in terms of your health. The key is to cut back on sweet treats in general. It’s estimated that 75 percent of packaged foods sold in the U.S. contain added sugars. If you see a sweetener listed as one of the first three ingredients in a packaged food, it likely contains a significant amount of added sugar.

Nearly half of added sugars that people consume are in the form of sugar sweetened beverages, especially soft drinks, but also fruit drinks, coffee, tea, and sports and energy drinks. Other major sources of added sugars include sweets and snacks such as candy, ice cream, cookies, granola bars, flavored yogurts, cake, and doughnuts. People also get a significant amount of added sugars from less obvious sources, such as pasta sauces, salad dressings, ketchup, barbecue sauces, breakfast cereals, breads, baked beans, and many other packaged foods.

Spotting Added Sugars in Packaged Foods

The American Heart Association recommends woman and children limit intake of added sugars to 6 teaspoons or less a day, and men aim for less than 9 teaspoons. But food labels list sugar in grams! To figure out roughly how many teaspoons of sugar are in a packaged food, divide the number of grams by 4.

Added sugars go by many names on package labels, but the body metabolizes them all in essentially the same way. Check ingredient lists for:

  • Sugar (white granulated sugar, brown sugar, beet sugar, raw sugar, sugar cane juice)
  • Other common names for sugars: (cane juice, caramel, corn sweetener, fruit juice/fruit juice concentrate, honey, molasses
  • Nectar (agave nectar, peach nectar, fruit nectar)
  • Syrup (corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, carob syrup, maple syrup, malt syrup)
  • Words ending in “-ose” (including sucrose, dextrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, lactose, galactose, saccharose, or mannose)
  • Foreign or unusual names for sugars (demerara, muscovado, panela/raspadora, panocha/penuche, sweet sorghum, treacle)

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Are sugary drink interventions cutting consumption?

I have written repeatedly about the ill effects of soft drinks, both sugary and diet, on our bodies. You can check out my Page – What’s wrong with soft drinks? for chapter and verse. So this item in Medical News Today citing efforts to curb sugary drink consumption caught my eye.

An evaluation of efforts designed to reduce how many sugary drinks we consume shows some success in changing younger people’s habits but warns they cannot be the only way to cut consumption.

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Nutritionists at the University of Leeds have carried out the first comprehensive review of interventions to reduce sugary drinks consumption. The team analyzed 40 studies with 16,500 participants across three age groups: children, teenagers and adults.

Their study, published in the Obesity Reviews journal, found that children participating in these programs reduced their sugary drink intake by around 30%, removing nearly 2.5 teaspoons of sugar from a child’s average intake of 16 teaspoons per day.

Interventions aimed at teenagers saw sugary drink consumption reduced by nearly 10%. However, there was almost no measurable change in adults participating in these programs. Continue reading

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Filed under childhood obesity, diabetes, obesity, prediabetes, sugar, sugary soda, sugary soft drinks, Type 2 diabetes

Test Your Fast Food Smarts – Web MD Quiz

I really enjoy the information available from WebMD. They offer articles, studies and quizzes on healthy subjects.

I want to tell you about this recent one – Test Your Fast Food Smarts.
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I have been writing this blog for the best part of four years. As a result of this project, I have taken off 15 pounds from what I had thought was my ideal weight 165 pounds. In addition I have a resting heart rate below 50 beats per minute and my body fat remains under 17 per cent. Before I took the quiz I thought I had a really good fix on fast food even though I don’t eat very much of it. However, of the 16 questions in the quiz I got less than half of them right.

Here are a couple of examples of questions in the quiz. I hope they will whet your appetite for more info on the subject.

How many Americans eat fast food every day?

How many of us guzzle sugary drinks daily?

To burn off an order of medium fries, a 155 pound adult needs to? Ride a stationary bike hard for 30 minutes or do high impact aerobics for 30 minutes or strength train for 60 minutes?

On average a teen will grab a fast food meal that has how many calories? 500 to 800; 800 to 1100; 1100 to 1500 calories?

No, I am not going to spoil your fun by giving you any of the answers. I hope you will take the test and derive the full benefit from it. At the risk of using a cliche – You’ll thank me for it.

Tony

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Filed under aerobics, fast food, Mc Donald's, Weight, weight-bearing exercise, weight-training