Kids’ diets appear to be getting worse—kind of conflicts the news that childhood obesity is leveling off—because a new study claims sugary drinks now make up to 15% of children’s daily calories. Kathleen Doheny of HealthDay News reports:
Children aged 2 to 19 now take in up to 15 percent of their total daily calories from drinks that contain sugar, a finding that confirms previous research and suggests consumption is rising.Scary news because—despite the hype and their often hefty calorie-load—soda, sports drinks, and most juices are poor sources of nutrition. Check out their rankings via Dr. Fuhrman’s Food Scoring Guide:
It's known from previous studies that children and teens in the United States drink a lot of sugary beverages, said study author Dr. Y. Claire Wang, an assistant professor of health policy and management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.
"We show that the consumption trend continues to increase," she said, and that it's occurring mostly at home.
Experts recommend restricting both sugary beverages such as soft drinks and 100 percent fruit juices, to avoid excess "empty" calories.
Wang's team analyzed 24-hour dietary recall records from children or their parents, trying to determine how many calories a day came from sugary beverages and 100 percent fruit juices.
They used data from two national surveys, conducted from 1988 to 1994 and from 1999 to 2004. The first survey had almost 10,000 participants, the second, almost 11,000.
Overall, daily calories from sugary beverages or 100 percent fruit juices rose from 242 calories a day to 270 during the two study periods.