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How do sugary beverages affect health?

Studies link an increase in Americans' intake of sweetened drinks -- especially soda and sports drinks -- with an unhealthy increase in our body weight. Sweet drinks are also linked to:
  • Weak bones
  • Tooth decay
  • Increased desire for sugar (and in some cases, caffeine)
Many people enjoy an occasional soda with their pizza, but drinking too many sugar-sweetened beverages -- including juices, energy drinks, sweetened ice tea, and coffee drinks -- packs on pounds that can lead to obesity and diabetes. Experts suspect sugar-sweetened drinks alter the body's ability to use insulin efficiently, causing blood sugar levels to rise. A better choice? Sip water instead.
Keri Gans
Nutrition & Dietetics
In one Harvard study that followed 88,000 women for twenty-four years, those who drank at least two sugar-sweetened drinks a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease, compared with those who drank less than one sugary drink a month, regardless of their body weight. In another study among 4,000 men and women who participated in the prestigious Framingham Heart Study for four years, those who drank at least one sugar-sweetened soft drink a day faced a 44 percent greater risk of metabolic syndrome, a precursor of heart disease and diabetes, compared to those who drank less. Again, the risk was independent of their weight. So cut back on sugary drinks, and you’ll likely trim your risk of chronic disease along with your waistline.
The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You

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The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You

THE ONLY “DIET” PLAN YOU WILL EVER NEED! No deprivation, no struggles. Just ten small changes that will transform your life. Keri Gans, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, shares...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.