You’ve heard the saying “You are what you eat,” but what about what you drink? Here in America, it may not only be our supersized fries that are causing an obesity epidemic, but also our over the top Super Gulps and gigantic beverages.
"Liquid caloric consumption can be quite a significant contribution to weight gain so this is a tremendous effort to educate the public," said Dr. Bartfield of Loyola University Health System. He, along with his colleagues, are leading an effort to modify the behaviors of those who are severely obese. Their research was described in an article in Science Daily.
Beginning in February, 2001, the number of calories in both bottled and canned beverages containing 20 ounces or less must be displayed on the front labels. These are the guidelines being implemented for soda or other non-alcoholic beverages. According to Bartfield, "Beverage containers traditionally 'hid' the nutritional content at the back in a small square with small print and cleverly listed just the calorie content per serving." I think this is a good move, however, I also think that we have a personal responsibility to read labels ourselves and understand what exactly is in what we eat and drink."
Bartfield’s findings also indicate that what our kids drink is also significantly impacting the child obesity epidemic. The statistics indicate that “10 percent of overweight adults consume 450 calories of sugar sweetened beverages per day, which is three times that of an average American. Cutting 450 calories per day would lead to about a 1 pound per week weight loss, close to 50 pounds in one year." Once again, I think we have a responsibility to our children to educate them on what they are eating and drinking, empowering them to make healthier choices.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warned that those who drink these sugary beverages are taking in a higher number of calories with these sweetened beverages, which contributes greatly to weight gain. Prior studies also indicated that sugary drinks have a tremendous impact not only to the severe obesity epidemic, but also the rise of type 2 diabetes in the United States.