January 22, 2019
Pouring cola in glass

Sugary Beverages: Survey Says…

by Berkeley Wellness  

First the good news: American adults are drinking fewer sugary beverages these days, according to a 2016 report from the CDC, which used national telephone survey data from nearly 158,000 people across 23 states and the District of Columbia.

But here’s the bad news. The amounts are still too high: Overall, on any given day, one-third of adults consume at least one sugary beverage—which includes regular sodas, fruit drinks, sweet tea, and sports or energy drinks—ranging from a low of 18 percent of people in Vermont to 48 percent in Mississippi, with higher rates in young adults (18 to 24), men, black people, the unemployed, and people with less education. Who drinks the least? People 55 and older (including retirees), and college graduates. Oklahoma and West Virginia had the highest rates among young adults (66 and 64 percent, respectively), while Louisiana and Mississippi had the highest rates among men (51 and 49 percent).

Participants were asked the number of times they drank these beverages, not how much, so it’s unknown how many sugar calories they consumed. The survey did not include all states or children.

These numbers are lower than what was reported in the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which found that 50 percent of adults drink at least one sugary beverage a day.

Because excess sugar intake has been linked with a range of adverse health effects—from obesity to diabetes and cardiovascular disease—the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise limiting adding added sugars to no more than 10 percent of daily calories. The guidelines note that beverages supply 47 percent of added sugars in the American diet.

Also see Hiding Sugar in Cereals.