Don't drink yourself fat!
Americans consume 200 to 300 more calories each day than we did 30 years ago. Nearly half of these extra calories come from sugar-sweetened beverages. Sugar in sweetened drinks contains extra calories you don't need! For example, a 20-ounce bottle of soda has 16 packets of sugar! The extra calories can lead to obesity and diabetes. Sugar is also bad for your teeth. It causes cavities in kids and adults.
Re-think your drink! Follow these tips:
- Drink plenty of water. Nothing quenches thirst better than water. Water is naturally sugar-free and calorie-free. If you crave fizz, try seltzer.
- Choose fat-free or 1% milk. Fat-free and 1% milk have all the protein, calcium, vitamins and other nutrients of whole milk, with fewer calories and less fat. Unlike sugary drinks, milk is good for your bones! Almost everyone over age 2 should drink fat-free or 1% instead of whole milk. If you prefer soy milk, choose low-fat, light or unflavored.
- Switch from juice to whole fruit. Most kids get too much juice and too little fruit. Fruit juice isn't as healthful as most people think. It's loaded with calories. Whole fruit has fewer calories, and unlike juice, it has fiber. Fiber helps keep you healthy. It also helps you feel full. Don't waste money on punch and fruit-flavored drinks. These are just flavored sugar water.
- Skip sports drinks and "energy" drinks. Most are high in sugar and low in nutrients, and energy drinks are loaded with caffeine. Water is all you need to stay hydrated, even while exercising.
- Watch out for coffee and tea drinks and shakes. Check calories on the menu boards. You'll probably be surprised by how many calories are in popular drinks. If you drink coffee or tea, order it plain (practically calorie-free) and lightly flavor it yourself.
- Downsize! If you do have a sugar-sweetened drink, cut calories and save money by ordering a "small" instead of a "large." Cut portion sizes by using small, 6-ounce glasses.
For more information:
- Contact us for more information about creating a sugar-sweetened beverage reduction policy at your workplace, school, community or faith-based organization, and for program materials.
- Consider adopting the Steps to a Healthier Rockland Healthy Meeting Guidelines.
- View New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for more Sugary Drink information.
Are you Pouring on the Pounds? campaign was adopted from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and developed with funding from New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO).