Healthy Alternatives to Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
New research from The Obesity Society (TOS) has concluded that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) contribute to the obesity epidemic in the United States, especially among children. The Obesity Society defines SSBs as sodas, sports drinks, and other beverages that are primarily made up of water and added sugar. These drinks comprise 6 to 7 percent of Americans’ overall calorie intake.
“There’s no arguing with the fact that the high rates of obesity in the U.S. are troubling for our nation’s health, specifically the recently reported rise in severe obesity among children in JAMA Pediatrics,” said TOS spokesperson Diana Thomas, PhD, Professor at Montclair State University and Director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research.
“Following a thorough review and analysis of the existing research, TOS concludes that, by adding more non-nutritious calories to the American diet, SSBs have contributed to the U.S. obesity epidemic,” Thomas added.
According to Dr. Thomas, evidence also shows that individuals with a higher body mass index (BMI) consume more SSBs than individuals with a lower BMI. Decreasing SSB consumption may reduce overall calorie intake and help individuals who are overweight or obese maintain a healthy weight.