Teens slow weight gain when cutting back on sugary drinks

By Lorrie Terry, Western Baptist dietitian

Does your child drink too much soda? All of that sugar adds up and it could be having an adverse effect on his or her waistline. 

Many children, especially teens, are consuming lots of empty calories from sodas, energy drinks and sports beverages. A government analysis found teens who drink soda are taking in about 327 calories per day, or the equivalent of 2 ½ cans of soda.  The consumption of too many sugary beverages can lead to health conditions such as obesity, elevated blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

A recent study, involving 224 overweight and obese teens who regularly consume at least 12 ounces of juice or beverages per day, was conducted to study the impact of cutting back on liquid calories. Half of the group was encouraged to stop drinking sodas for a year and also had diet sodas or water provided instead of regular soda. As part of the intervention for the group, they received motivational calls to adhere to the program.

The other half of the group did not receive any advice or intervention for a year on changing their choice of beverage consumption. The study found the teens in the intervention group drank minimal amounts of sugary beverages, while those in the control group continued to drink the sugary beverages.

The teens who stopped drinking sugary beverages gained four less pounds per year than those teens who continued to consume the sugary beverages. The study concluded the teens will decrease their consumption of sugary beverages, if there is another less sugary product readily available and is convenient. The study also found that teens gained almost two pounds over two years for each bottle or can of soda they drank per day.

Send us your health and nutrition questions, and our team of dietitians will answer them in an upcoming blog.

About Baptist Health Paducah

Baptist Health Paducah is a regional medical and referral center, serving about 200,000 patients a year from four states. With more than 1,800 employees and 200 physicians, it offers a full range of services, including cardiac and cancer care, diagnostic imaging, women’s and children’s services, surgery, emergency treatment, rehabilitation and more. Since its humble beginning in 1953, Baptist Health Paducah has grown from 117 beds to 349 beds on a campus covering eight square blocks.
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