Topic of the Week
May 29th, 2017
Well-done consumer studies are not very common. But one study produced as a by-product of the National Health and Nutrition Survey (a somewhat cooperative effort between the government and a group called the Milk Processor Education Program) came close to a very real issue concerning calorie consumption by Americans. With over 100,000 Americans surveyed in various age groups, it was found that, on average, 22% of caloric intake by Americans was in the form of beverages. But there were two other related issues concerning that "beverage" consumption.
First, the beverages of choice were, in most cases, highly sweetened drinks such as soft drinks. Indeed, nearly half of all the "liquids" consumed as a part of the daily diet were NOT water or undiluted fruit drinks--and over one third were in the form of "liquid candy". To be sure, the average American DID consume a little over a quart of water each day but the beverage of choice was soft drinks and teas sweetened by sugar or high fructose corn syrup. The rest of the liquids or fluids being consumed were coffee (about two cups per day) and milk (a little under two cups per day). Consumption of soft drinks and sweetened teas was higher than coffee and mile combined. By eliminating sugared soft drinks from the diet, the average American could lose (or avoid gaining!) over eighteen pounds per year if water became the drink of choice for assuaging thrist (my drink of choice is unsweetened iced green tea).
But that is not the only problem associated with beverage consumption. As it turns out, many American don't even count the calories in sugared beverages when determining or estimating their calorie intake. Talk about rationalization! And an even more telling habit is the fact that Penn State researchers found that when adults consumed sugared beverages with their meals, they did NOT compensate for the additional calories by eating less food. Additionally, in a related experiment, the more sugared beverages that were served with meals, the more sugared beverages were consumed. What this means is that thirst and hunger are, perhaps, controlled by different "mechanisms and, moreover, that sugared beverages do not necessarily satisfy or satiate the need for additional calories.
So, what's the take away message? Well, try changing the beverage of choice and/or limit (eliminate?) consumption of sweetened beverages when you are thirsty and especially with meals. The reduction in calories and the improvement in "nutrient density" (useful nutrients per calorie consumed) will assist in a healthier diet or eating plan and a gradual and a permanent loss of "stored calories"---FAT! It's simple changes like this that can improve health and fitness without a lot of sacrifice or effort. Oh sure, I like sweet things too but I don't inhale them as a regular part of my eating plan. If you went to a restaurant with a friend and the friend ordered a glass of carbonated water and then proceeded to dump TEN teaspoons of granulated sugar in the water and THEN drank it with his or her meal, you would think that they were crazy. But that's exactly the formula for sweetened soft drinks (although most now use high fructose corn syrup as the sweetener which contains about the same number of calories---150 calories per 12 ounces). Liquid Candy! The choice is yours!
I'm Dr. Paul Kennedy and that’s the "Be Fit, Stay Fit" Topic of the Week. Good luck with YOUR program. I KNOW you can do it!
Originally published on September 02, 2017 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau