The New York Times has reported that there has been a decline in the popularity of sugar sweetened beverages in the US. This is on the basis of the national health survey which showed that 79.7 percent of children and 61.5 percent of adults consumed a sugary beverage on daily basis in 2003. This has gone down to 60.7 percent in children and 50 percent in adults in the consumption of these drinks.
Reduction In Beverage Calorie Intake
The report by the publication further states that this study was published in the journal called ‘Obesity’ and studied the beverage consumption of people in the last 24 hours. This included 18,000 children between the ages of two to seven years, 27,652 adults who were above 20 years of age. The beverage consumed included: juice, milk, sugar and diet soda, coffee and tea, sports drinks, water and alcohol.
According to the results, the per capita consumption of all the drinks declined. The children accounted for 312.6 beverage calories in a day as compared to 473.8 back in 2003. The adults total came to 341.1 calories in 2014 and 425 calories in 2003. The decline in the calorie intake was due to lesser people drinking sugary beverages and those who did consume them, had reduced intake.
The Popular Beverages
The study that spanned over 12 years showed that while children till the age of 11 preferred to consume milk, adolescents and adults had most of their beverage calories from sugary drinks and sweetened sodas. The coffee and tea consumption was shown to be steady along with alcohol intake. However, the latter increased in adults who were 60 plus in age.
Sara N. Bleich who is a professor of public health policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the lead author of the study believes this decline in demand in sugary drinks is because of increased consumption of water. Also, the consumption of fruit juice has also gone down mostly amongst people above 40 years of age. “There are a number of studies showing that juice is linked to obesity risk,” Dr. Bleich told The New York Times, “so kids should be eating fruit rather than drinking fruit juice.”
Dr. Bleich further believes that the decline can possibly be caused due to the awareness about obesity, changes brought in food allowances in federal nutrition programs, improved school lunch menus and the reformulations of food products by manufacturers. “Even though we’re seeing declines,” Dr. Bleich told the publication, “consumption is still highest among blacks, Hispanics and adolescents, and these groups are at higher risk for obesity.”