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Americans Getting Too Many Calories From Sugary Drinks: CDC
Date:8/31/2011

"It is important that people note the calories they eat," Ogden said.

In response, the American Beverage Association issued a statement that said: "Contrary to what may be implied by the introductory statement of this data brief that reaches back 30 years, sugar-sweetened beverages are not driving health issues like obesity and diabetes. In fact, recently published data from CDC researchers show that sugar-sweetened beverages play a declining role in the American diet while obesity is increasing.

"According to an analysis of federal government data presented to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee, all sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks, flavored waters, etc.) account for only 7 percent of the calories in the average American's diet. That means Americans get 93 percent of their calories from other foods and beverages.

"Moreover," the statement added, "the total number of calories from beverages that our member companies have brought to market decreased by 21 percent from 1998 to 2008, according to Beverage Marketing Corporation data. This is due in part to industry's innovation in bringing more no- and low-calorie beverage options to market. And according to Beverage Digest, sales of full-calorie soft drinks have declined by 12.5 percent from 1999 to 2010."

Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, commented that "the beverage industry has long contested suggestions that sodas or, more generically, sugar-sweetened beverages, are an important factor in the nation's obesity and diabetes crisis. But the incontestable facts are these: epidemic obesity means epidemic energy imbalance, some combination of too many calories in, and too few calories out."

Sugar-sweetened drinks contribute to that surplus of calories in, while offering no off-setting nutritional benefit, Katz said. "Soda either directly adds calories we don't need, or if room
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