Soda habits among kids and adults in the U.S. are still going strong: About two-thirds of children and half of adults report drinking at one least one sugar-sweetened beverage a day, two new reports find.
One report focused on children and teens ages 2 to 19; it found that 63 percent of youth in the U.S. reported drinking at least one sugary drink a day from 2011 to 2014.
The other report focused on adults in the U.S.; it found that 49 percent said they drank at least one sugar-sweetened beverage a day during the same time period. Both reports were published today (Jan. 26) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Previous studies have found that drinking sugary drinks is linked to health problems in both adults and children, including weight gain, type 2 diabetes and dental cavities, the researchers wrote.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that people cut the amount of added sugar in their diets to less than 10 percent of their total daily calories, and choose drinks with no added sugars.
The new findings showed that many people’s sweetened-beverage consumption alone brings them close this amount of added sugar per day.
For example, among children, boys drank, on average, 164 calories’ worth of sugar-sweetened beverages a day, which contributed to 7.3 percent of their total recommended daily calorie intake; girls drank, on average, 121 calories from sugary drinks, or 7.2 percent of their total recommended daily calorie intake, according to the children’s report.
Adult men consumed, on average, slightly more calories from sugar-sweetened beverages a day than boys: 179 calories, or 6.9 percent of their total recommended daily caloric intake; women, however, consumed, on average, fewer calories from the drinks than girls: 113 calories or 6.1 percent of their daily recommended calories, according to the adults’ report.
The researchers also found that among children, sugary drink intake increased with age: Teens ages 12 to 19 drank more sugar-sweetened beverages than children in the 2- to 5-year-old age group as well as kids in the 6- to 11-year-old group.
For adults, the researchers observed the opposite effect: Sugary drink intake decreased with age, with intake at its highest point for adults ages 20 to 39.
The researchers also noted that there were differences in sugar-sweetened beverage intake by race.
Among girls, non-Hispanic black girls consumed, on average, the highest number of calories from sugar-sweetened beverages each day, the researchers found. Among boys, non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic boys all consumed, on average, similar amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages, while non-Hispanic Asian boys consumed fewer calories on average each day from the drinks, according to the report.
For adult men, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic men had, on average, the highest daily intake of calories from sugar-sweetened beverages, according to the report. For women, non-Hispanic black women consumed the most calories from the drinks compared to other women, the researchers found.
The data used in the two reports came from two consecutive years of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011-2012 and 2013-2014.