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Soda Consumption Increasing Dramatically in US Adults

Daily intake is highest among young adults and in people who are overweight or obese

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- American adults are consuming significantly larger amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages -- especially soda -- and consumption is highest among subgroups with an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to study findings published in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Sara N. Bleich, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed 24-hour dietary recall data from 15,979 adults who participated in the 1988-1994 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and 13,431 adults who participated in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Between the two time periods, the researchers found that the number of adults who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages increased from 58 percent to 63 percent, and that average daily consumption among drinkers increased by 6 ounces. In both periods, the investigators found that daily consumption was highest among young adults (231-289 calories), and that young blacks accounted for the highest percentage of drinkers and the highest per capita consumption. Although overweight or obese adults who wanted to lose weight were less likely to consume sugar-sweetened beverages than those who had no weight-loss intention, they still consumed an average of 278 calories per day from such beverages in 1999-2004.

"Efforts to encourage replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with low-caloric or non-caloric alternatives may be an important strategy to reduce consumption of empty calories," the authors write. "Physicians and public health professionals are well positioned to identify and promote concrete behavioral targets aimed at decreasing adult sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, making awareness of these changes critical among that group. The workplace and home offer key areas of intervention for reducing the energy imbalance in young adults."

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