WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Almost half of Americans get a substantial amount of their calories from sweetened drinks, a new report indicates.
Recent dietary guidelines have called for reducing the amount of sugar in one's diet, and for many, sugar-sweetened drinks are a major source of sugar. Excess sugar has been linked to obesity and related illnesses such as diabetes, experts say.
"The highest consumers of these beverages are teenagers and young adults," said report author Cynthia L. Ogden, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.
"About half the population consumes sugar-sweetened drinks on any given day," she said. It doesn't mean that others don't drink these beverages, only that they don't drink them daily, Ogden noted.
In addition, men drink more sugar-sweetened drinks than women, she found.
The report, released Wednesday, details who is and isn't drinking the most sugar-sweetened drinks.
According to the findings, the amount of sugar-drink consumption varies widely, with about 25 percent of those who consume these sweetened products getting less than 200 calories a day from these drinks and about 5 percent consuming more than 567 calories from sugar drinks a day, Ogden said.
"That's more than four 12-ounce cans of cola," she explained.
The American Heart Association recommends getting no more than 450 calories from sugar-sweetened beverages per week, Ogden pointed out.
In addition, there were racial/ethnic differences in who drank the most of these drinks, Ogden noted. Blacks consumed more sugar-sweetened drinks than Mexican Americans and both consumed more than whites, she said.
Income also played a role in who drank the most sugar-sweetened drinks. Generally, poor people drank more of these drinks than the more affluent, the report stated.
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