Friday, May 27, 2005

Main Source of Calories

Is it any wonder 1 in 3 adults are obese in the United States when preliminary data from a Tufts University study suggests that soda and sweet drinks are the main source of calories in the American diet?

Tufts researchers recently reported that while the leading source of calories in the average American diet used to be from white bread, that may have changed. Now, according to preliminary research conducted by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Americans are drinking these calories instead.

The research was presented in abstract form at the Experimental Biology Conference in April of this year and a more comprehensive paper is being developed.

Odilia Bermudez, PhD, MPH, studied the reported diets of a large nationwide sample of American adults. Among respondents to the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), more than two thirds reported drinking enough soda and/or sweet drinks to provide them with a greater proportion of daily calories than any other food.

In addition, obesity rates were higher among these sweet drink consumers.

"These results are startling," Bermudez said, "and indicate that we need a much better understanding of how the American diet has changed."

Startling is an understatement in my opinion! The findings should be sounding alarm bells across the country! Sodas and sweetened beverages offer absolutely no nutritional value in the diet. They are pure "calories" and are actually counter-productive nutritionally as they deplete the body of nutrients (B-vitamins, calcium, potassium) as they're metabolized.

Just how much soda does the average American drink each year? An estimated 60-gallons! That works out to an average of almost two cans a day - or about 300 calories without any nutrients for the body.

To be healthy, the body requires nutrients and drinking soda is not nourishing our bodies - skip the soda and drink water instead.

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