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Pouring on the pounds

The NYC Department of Health just launched another soda education campaign, this one describing how drinking just one 20 ounce soda a day translates to eating 50 pounds of sugar in a year. This campaign, along with some of the other soda campaigns, serve as a stark reminder to New Yorkers about how sugary drinks can lead to obesity, which can cause diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Subway posters map how far you’d have to walk to burn off the calories from just one sugary drink. For example, to burn off the 650 calories of a medium frozen vanilla coffee one would need to walk 8 miles, from the Goethals Bridge to the Verrazano Bridge.  That is a lot of walking!!

Tom Farley, the commissioner of the Department of Health unveiled the new campaign at Food Day on October 24. As he states: “The majority of New York City adults are now overweight or obese, as are 4 in 10 elementary school children and the health consequences are staggering. Sugary drinks are the largest single source of added sugar in the diet, and a child’s risk of obesity increases with every additional daily serving of a sugary drink.”

I could not agree more. This is an excellent campaign and limiting soda is a great place to start. Soda contains absolutely no nutrients, and is just a source of empty calories. And to make it worse, serving sizes of sodas have grown in recent years adding to further calories.

HEALTHY TIP: There are many healthier alternatives to sugary drinks. Instead of soda, it is best to choose: water, seltzer, unsweetened iced tea, or low-fat/fat-free milk. And, if you do want to indulge in that occasional soda, be sure to watch your portion. Choose an 8-oz serving instead of the 64-oz size.

For additional information search for “Pouring on the Pounds” and “Eating Healthy” on NYC.gov or call 311.

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