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Teens Choose Water When Calorie Count of Sugary Beverages Is Easier to Understand


 

ScienceDaily (Dec. 15, 2011) -- Thirsty? You may be more inclined to reach for plain old H2O if you knew how many calories are in sugar-sweetened beverages; this is according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They examined the effect of providing clear and visible caloric information about sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda and fruit juice on the number of sugar-sweetened beverage purchases at neighborhood stores, and found that providing easily understandable caloric information, specifically in the form of a physical activity equivalent, may reduce the likelihood of sugar-sweetened beverage purchases among adolescents by as much as half.

the odds of black adolescents purchasing a sugar-sweetened beverage by 50 percent.

Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, sport drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks has been associated with obesity and is highest among minority and lower income adolescents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one third of U.S. adults and 17 percent of U.S children are obese. Obesity increases the risk of many adverse health conditions including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

"Because of the inclusion of mandatory calorie labeling in the recent health reform bill, it is critical to explore the most effective strategies for presenting caloric information to consumers on fast food restaurant menu boards," suggest the study's authors.

"Reduction in Purchases of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Among Low-Income, Black Adolescents After Exposure to Caloric Information" was written by Sara N. Bleich, PhD, Bradley J. Herring, PhD, Desmond D. Flagg, MPH, and Tiffany L. Gary-Webb, PhD, MS.

The research was supported by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.