Americans are increasingly reaching for a can of soda instead of more nutritious drinks having a drastic effect on waistlines.
The US Department of agriculture now says that soda accounts for about 10 percent of the total number of calories Americans consume.
John Taylor with the Doctors Clinic says, "You have to understand that empty calories such as those in cola drinks really don't do the body any good at all."
It may not have any nutritional value...but soda consumption by Americans is rising anyway.
The so-called "liquid candy" has now become a staple for many people. And that's a problem.
Taylor says, "If 10 percent of the calories are consumed in cola drinks, and in supersize drinks. Then it's going to be very difficult to maintain your weight."
Research shows sweetened drinks like soda are the only specific food directly linked to weight gain. And while ten percent of a diet may not be a large number... The nutritional value the drinks lack does a disservice to your body.
Taylor says, "It however can be a large amount in regards to the starch and carbohydrates intake."
A consumer group is now pushing to require obesity warning labels on the side of soda cans...much like the surgeon general's warning on cigarettes.
Taylor says, "I think it will take a long time to ween people off of the cola drinks with sugar."
There is one place where soda consumption is actually going down, in schools. The American Beverage Association says the shipments to schools of sweetened soda are down 45 percent since 2004. While bottled water shipments are going up 23 percent.
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