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Beware the Sugary Goodness

The next time you reach for a soft drink or so-called "fruit" juice, consider this: A new study estimates that, on average, people consume up to 66 calories a day from sugar-laden beverage sources, and another 17 calories from other caloric sweeteners, such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, dextrose and others.1

Researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in Chapel Hill examined data from the U.S.

and countries around the world related to caloric sweetener consumption, including the role played by foods, urbanization and income. Worldwide, the study found a 74-calorie increase in the amount of sweetener consumed daily between 1962 and 2000, while data from the U.S. showed an 83-calorie increase -- 80 percent of which came from sugary beverages.

According to a report issued by the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the Food and Agriculture Organization, less than 10 percent of an individual's daily calories should come from sugar, which translates into roughly one can of soda -- and no other forms of sugar -- on a 1,500-calorie-per-day diet.2

What's your best bet when it comes to sugar consumption? Limit your soda intake altogether, and consume more whole grains, fruits and veggies, so you can enjoy an occasional sugary treat with less guilt and fewer health-related consequences.


1. Popkin BM, Nielsen SJ. The sweetening of the world's diet. Journal of Obesity Research November 2003;11(1), pp325-1332.

2. Davis JL. Sugary foods making us fat. March 4, 2003.

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