Half of Americans Drink Sweet Beverage Daily

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Half of all Americans drink at least one sugary drink every day, and a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals many people drink a lot more.

The study found one in 20 people drink the equivalent of more than four cans of soda daily.

The CDC released the figures Wednesday in a report said to be the government's first to offer national statistics for both adults and kids.

Experts say you should drink less than half of a can of per day since an average can of soda or juice has 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar.

Healthy eating recommendations call for people to limit sugary beverages to about 64 calories per day. That's a little less than half of a 12 ounce can of regular Coca-Cola, which is 140 calories.

The drinks have been linked to America's growing obesity epidemic.

But Christopher Gindlesperger of the American Beverage Association says sugary drinks aren't to blame for the nation's growing waistline.

"Contrary to what may be implied by the introductory statement of this data brief that reaches back 30 years, sugar-sweetened beverages are not driving health issues like obesity and diabetes," he said.  "In fact, recently published data from CDC researchers show that sugar-sweetened beverages play a declining role in the American diet while obesity is increasing."

Gindlesperger noted that his member companies have declined the number of calories in their sugary drinks by 21 percent.

"Balancing calories from all foods and beverages with those burned through physical activity and exercise is essential to maintaining a balanced, active and healthy lifestyle," he explained.

Campaigns against sugary drinks have been recently popping up all over the country.  Wednesday, a coalition of 100 organizations announced a new push.

The effort includes the American Heart Association and some city health departments who plan to prod companies to stop the sale of sugary drinks on their property or providing them at business meetings - as Boston's Carney Hospital did in April.

There will also be new media campaigns like one starting soon in Los Angeles that will ask "If you wouldn't eat 22 packs of sugar, why are you drinking it?'

The study is based on in-person interviews of more than 17,000 people in the years 2005 through 2008. They were asked to recount everything they ate and drank in the previous day. However, diet sodas, sweetened teas, flavored milks and 100 percent fruit juice did not count.

Related Link:

CDC Report

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