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Sugary sports drinks mistakenly associated with being healthy, say UTHealth researchers
Date:9/27/2010

ar-sweetened beverages three or more times a day. Among boys, the average daily consumption of soda increased from 8th to 11th grade while consumption of non-carbonated flavored and sports beverages remained steady. Soda consumption in girls remained steady from 8th to 11th grade and consumption of non-carbonated flavored and sports beverages declined substantially. Of the ethnicities of the children involved in the study, researchers found black children had lower soda consumption but considerably higher flavored and sports beverage consumption compared to Hispanic or white children.

Nearly 17 percent of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 in the United States are in the 95 percentile of the BMI-for-age growth charts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is widespread consensus that the increasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with high levels of obesity nationwide, according to the study.

"High levels of consumption of these beverages has the potential to increase weight gain," said Ranjit, "Drinking just one can of soda or other sugary beverage a day could lead to more than a 10-pound weight gain in a year." Nutritionists at UTHealth also caution that children should have no more than one glass of fruit juice, even 100 percent fruit juice, a day, because of the high calories. Sports drinks should be reserved only for extreme exercise. Otherwise, children should drink water to replenish lost fluids, they say, and whole fruit is a better nutritional choice than fruit juice.

Ranjit recommends adolescents and their parents educate themselves on the sugar content of flavored and sports beverages. "Consuming large amounts of flavored and sports beverages could undo the effects of all that exercise," said Ranjit. "Recognizing these misperceptions is important to obesity prevention efforts."


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Contact: Jade Waddy
jade.waddy@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3030
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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