NJ SugarFreed: Fighting Consumption of Sugary Drinks

Source: njSugarFreed.org

Every day, millions of kids, teens, and adults drink sugar-filled drinks and think nothing of it. But with sugary drinks now proven to increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and with obesity an important cause of cancer, we’re on a mission to change that.

Sugary drinks are those which are sweetened with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, or other caloric sweeteners and that have more than 25 calories per 8 ounces. Water is the best.

A 20-ounce bottle of soda has about 65 grams of sugar (240 calories), usually as high-fructose corn syrup, which is similar enough to cane sugar. A teaspoon of granulated cane sugar has about 4 grams, so that 20-ounce can of soda has the equivalent of about 16 teaspoons of sugar in it.

One or two sugary drinks a day adds up to about 68 pounds of sugar a year that you’re drinking — enough to cause you to gain weight and enough to increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Regular soda, fruit-flavored drinks, sweetened blended coffee drinks, and sweet tea are sugary drinks. So-called “sports/energy” drinks and drinks with fruit flavoring like lemonade or fruit punch contain plenty of added sugars. Some of these drinks have more sugar than regular soda. That amount of sugar is not healthy for you, no matter how old you are or how much you exercise.

“Diet” drinks with artificial sweeteners do not have the calories of sugary drinks, and some studies show that people who drink them gain less weight than those drinking full-sugar drinks. But the sweeteners do have some effects on the body that may contribute to weight gain over the long term. If you feel you must have a sweet drink, diet drinks are better than full-sugar drinks.

Water is best because it doesn’t contain anything that you don’t need — and if you drink tap water, it’s free! If you want a little something extra in your drink, try unsweetened tea, unsweetened flavored water, seltzer water, or agua fresca.

NJSugarFreed works with local community groups, local businesses, and the general public to help promote healthy choices. From removing sodas in the workplace to Facebook ads informing people about the negative health effects of sugar, NJSugarFreed is working across the state to improve people’s health.

NJSugarFreed is taking on the epidemics of obesity and diabetes by encouraging people to choose healthier drink options, like water, instead of beverages that contain sugar.Together, we can kick the sugary drink habit and live #NJSugarFreed.

Get your company, nonprofit organization, school, or church to take our #NJSugarFreed pledge. Click for guidelines and materials to help.

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