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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Soda and Soft Drink: Weight Loss Killers

Soft Drinks, The regular stuff!

We all know sugar sweetened soft drinks are empty calories and help contribute to the overall obesity problem in the western world. What most of us don’t know is how much of an impact these have and how switching to diet drinks may be an even worse choice.

In 2000 Americans alone spent $60 billion on carbonated soft drinks and billions more on non-carbonated “fruit” beverages. During the same year the average American consumed more than 53 gallons of soft drinks. (Source: National Soft Drink Association). Those 53 gallons are equal to over 283 12 ounce cans each on average.

In 2004, soft drink companies produced enough non-diet soda to provide each U.S. resident with about 395 12 ounce cans, and enough diet soda for about 160 cans each, says the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

North American consumption represents more than 44% of worldwide consumption, Europe, with a per capita average of 12.7 gallons per year, represented 31%. The fastest growth in soft drink consumption is in Asia and South America. (Source Beverage Marketing Press Release June 15, 2001).

During the late 1950’s the typical soft drink order in a casual or fast food restaurant contained about 8 ounces of soda. Today a “child” order of Coke at McDonalds is 12 ounces. A “large” Coke is 32 ounces and about 310 calories.

The average 12 ounce can of soda contains about 40 grams of refined sugar. That’s about 8 Teaspoons! Did you ever consider you were eating 8 teaspoons of sugar with every can of soda pop? For comparison the USDA recommends that for a 2,000 calorie per day diet we should not consume more than 40 grams of refined sugars per day. In addition each can contains about 150 calories with zero nutritional value per 12 ounce can.

You can see how an extra 300 to 400 calories per day can contribute to weight gain.
Dr. Caroline Apovian, an associate professor at the Boston University School of Medicine and director of the Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center, says one study found that the chance of becoming obese increased 1.6 times for each sugar sweetened drink consumed per day.

In addition to the calories, the sugar and the impact on weight gain and obesity, soda contains caffeine. Caffeine as we know is a mildly addictive stimulant drug that keeps us coming back for more. Research has shown that the caffeine delivered in a single 12 ounce can of soft drink is enough to produce mood and behavioral effects. (Source: Dr. Roland Griffiths in Eileen O’Conner’s “A sip into dangerous territory,” Monitor on Psychology, 32, June 2001.

Fruit Drinks:

Like I said repeatedly in my book “Living To BeYounger”we are literally being marketed to death. I go into great detail about how ad agencies and food companies are packaging products as a healthy alternative to junk foods.

There is no better example than the “healthy alternative” fruit drinks marketed by the soft drink companies. These companies market non-carbonated drinks that pretend to be rich in fruit juice and nutrients, but are basically sugar water. Coca-Cola Co.’s Fruitopia and Hi-C, for example contain only 5% to 10% fruit juice but they contain as much (or more) sugar as the carbonated soda pop. Don’t be fooled by the claims of added vitamins and minerals on these products packages, they are still junk food.

The sweetener commonly used in soft drinks and other foods may lead to more body fat than drinks sweetened with plain sugar. A new study shows that fructose may alter the body’s metabolism in a way that prompts it to store body fat.

Fructose is a sweetener found naturally in fruits and honey and is widely used as a sweetener in soft drinks, fructose is usually found in the form of high-fructose corn syrup which contains 55% fructose.

Researchers say the findings may help explain the recently established link between rising soft drink popularity and obesity rates in the United States and other parts of the world.

In the study, researchers led by Dr. Matthias Tschop of the University of Cincinnati compared the effects of feeding mice fructose-sweetened water, a soft drink flavored with table sugar, a diet soft drink or water. The mice were allowed to drink as much as they wanted of their assigned beverage.

The mice that drank the fructose-sweetened water gained significantly more body fat than the others, even thought they decreased the amount of calories they ate from solid food.
” We were surprised to see that mice actually ate less when exposed to fructose-sweetened beverages and therefore didn’t consume more overall calories,” says Tschop, “Nevertheless they gained significantly more body fat within a few weeks.”

Body fat increased 11% in the fructose group, 5% in the water group, 7% and 8% in the diet and sugar water groups. Researchers say the findings suggest the body metabolizes fructose differently than other sweeteners or carbohydrates and in a way that favors fat storage.

Between 1970 and 1990 high-fructose corn syrup consumption increased by more than 1000% largely because the nations soft drink producers switched from sucrose (sugar) to high-fructose corn syrup.

Making syrup is the second largest use of corn in North America, feeding livestock is the largest. On average Americans consume 48 pounds of corn syrup a year. (Source Anan Duming, “Junk Food, Food Junk World Watch September / October 1991)

A 2004 report showed that Americans eat 132 calories each day of high-fructose corn syrup and that figure is closer to 300 for the top 20%of Americans. Number who are obese goes from 12% to 17.9%.

The number of Americans who think about dieting and losing weight is probably at an all-time high. But surprisingly, so too are the number of Americans who are overweight (BMI >25) or obese (BMI >30): at least 30% of the population. The percentage of children and adolescents who are overweight has doubled since the early 1970s, raising concerns for long-term health effects. Excess weight is a health risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. By mid-1999, there were 7.1 million physician visits related to weight concerns.

Let’s see high-fructose corn syrup production up 1000% from 1970, obesity and overweight doubled since 1970? Tripled in England during the same period? To my simple way of thinking, “It ain’t the whole answer, but it’s a big part of it”! For then full FREE Special Report on Soft Drinks and Astounding information Diet Drinks visit this link.

I felt this information was important enough to provide a free excerpt of this chapter of my book, “Living To Be Younger”. People need to know the facts about what their consuming and the impact on their health.

We simply are not getting good information, and the result of that lack of knowledge is becoming more and more evident.

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