increases the risk of hypertension by 8
percent and the risk of heart disease by
Sugary drinks not only increase a
person’s chance of health complications,
but also increase their risk of dying.
Each year, 40,000 cardiovascular
deaths are attributed to sugary drinks
The American Heart Association
recommends that the average man
should have no more than 9 teaspoons
of added sugar a day while women and
children should consume no more than 6
teaspoons. Unfortunately, Americans are
consuming an average of 10 teaspoons
It is easy to underestimate how much
sugar is in the most popular drinks. A
20-ounce bottle of pop has the same
amount of sugar as six donuts. It is hard
to imagine eating six donuts in one
sitting but finishing 20 ounces of pop
feels like the norm to many people.
People should be cautious with drinks
that are marketed as healthy but are full
of artificial sugars and calories. Energy
and sports drinks are notorious for
deceiving people into believing they are
a healthy beverage choice. Additionally,
a serving is not always an entire bottle.
Everyone should read the label to make
sure they are not about to double, or
even triple, their sugar consumption.
“It is time to dump the sugar and
choose water for the sake of our health.
Americans are consuming 34 pounds
of added sugar each year from sugary
drinks. Pop, fruit drinks, sports and
energy drinks are the biggest culprits.”
There are plenty of healthier drink
choices a person can make. Water and
low-fat white milk are the healthiest
replacements for sugary drinks.
Additionally, infused water is an excellent
EACH YEAR FROM
• Raspberries and mint
• Apples and sticks of cinnamon
• Strawberries and kiwi
For people that routinely reach for sodas
and sweetened teas, quitting cold turkey
may be a significant challenge for them.
Cutting back on sugary drinks gradually
can help increase their water intake
without being too overwhelming.
Getting kids to make healthier choices
and avoiding juice and chocolate milk
can be a challenge at first. A recent
survey of parents in Michigan found that
children drink double the amount of
sports drinks, chocolate milk and fruit
juice as their parents. The survey also
found that 5 percent of children are not
drinking water at all during the day.
Children who consumer high amounts
of sugary drinks have a 55 percent
greater chance of being overweight or
obese compared to those who consume
less sugary drinks. Overconsumption
of sugary drinks in kids
can also increase their
risk of developing high
cholesterol and high
blood pressure at a
Kids over the age of two
should have no more
than one 8-ounce sugary drink a week.
Nearly two-thirds are consuming at least
one soda or other sugary drink every
The first step to get kids to make
healthier choices is for the parents
to start making healthier choices for
themselves as well. If a child sees their
parents drinking pop or sweet tea all
day, they will likely want to do the same.
Next, parents should also have the
healthier choices readily available to
their kids. The goal is make sure that no
matter where they go, the healthy choice
is an easy choice.
Kicking the sugary drink habit will help
everyone maintain a healthy weight
and decrease their odds of developing
chronic illness. Visit RethinkYourDrinkMI.
org or the American Heart Association
and Delta Dental Foundation’s websites
for more information.
People of color are
more likely to be
affected by preventable
chronic disease. Black
and Hispanic populations
have higher rates of
type 2 diabetes, heart
disease and other chronic
diseases brought on,
in part, by consuming
The beverage industry
spends millions each
year targeted to
communities of color.
and teens see more than
twice as many television
ads for sugary drinks than
their white peers.
at Hispanic youth has
drastic results. Hispanic
kids visit sugary drink
company websites 93
percent more than their