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Water Sales Gaining on Soda

Are full-calorie sodas the new tobacco?

The sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) industry is under fire today from many quarters. The New York Times reports over the last 20 years sales of full-calorie soda has fallen by 25%. At the same time, sales of bottled water have have exploded, and if the trends continue, should overtake soda as the largest beverage category within 2 years. 

PositiveTip: Sodas do not provide any essential nutrients! Avoid them to limit excess calories and the associated health problems.

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Soda and the Aging Process

Soda might age you as much as smoking.

Researchers studied white blood cell telomeres (the caps at the end of chromosomes in every cell). Shorter telomeres are associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, stress and a shorter lifespan. People who drank more sugary soda tended to have shorter telomeres. One 8-oz serving daily was found to be equal to 1.9 years of additional aging; a 20-oz serving was equal to 4.6 years of aging, equivalent to the impact of smoking! Non-carbonated sodas and sweetened fruit juices did not demonstrate the impact.

PositiveTip: Sugary, soda beverages contribute no nutritional or health advantages.

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Recipe for Weight Loss

Pass the veggies and fruit, skip the desserts and red meat.

More than 400 postmenopausal women were randomly assigend to two groups: either a "lifestyle change" group, which included group meetings with professionals, or a health education control group. After 48 months of follow-up, 57% of the women in the lifestyle change group and 29% of the controls had maintained at least 5 pounds of weight loss. Multivariate analysis of both groups revealed that increasing fruit and vegetable counsumption and decreasing desserts, sugary beverages, and meat and cheese were associated with sucessful weight loss.

PositiveTip: Eat more veggies and fruit, and go light on desert and soda to lose weight. 

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Fructose-sweetened Foods May Lead to Obesity

Fructose consumption seems to decrease hormones that control food intake.

Researchers found that normal weight women who consumed fructose-sweetened beverages lowered their 24-hour insulin and leptin levels as well as increased the post-meal triglyceride levels as compared to glucose-sweetened beverages. The hormones insulin and leptin help control satiety levels, and the authors suggested that high fructose intakes might lead to obesity.

PositiveTip: Most soft drinks and many sweet desserts are high in fructose, and would best be avoided.