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.  Though some athletes need these drinks, most are high in sugar and low in nutrients, and energy drinks are loaded with caffeine.  For most people, 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.

New York State Department of Health Sugar Sweetened Beverage and Healthy Beverage Media Campaigns
The New York State Department of Health has two media campaigns underway to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption statewide – the Sugar Sweetened Beverage (SSB) Campaign and the Healthy Beverage Campaign. Both campaigns were developed to promote drinking water as a healthy alternative. Sugary drinks are leading sources of added sugars in the American diet. Drinking sugary beverages regularly can lead to obesity, tooth decay, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. 

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