Category Archives: Sugary Beverages

Sugary drink warning labels may make parents stop and think twice

Sugary Drink WarningWe know what’s not good for us. Yet we still continue to do it. If those things weren’t true, FoodFacts.com knows that there would be several world conditions that would completely self-correct. We would all consistently choose not to smoke, never to consume too many calories and to avoid all kinds of controversial ingredients. We would all choose to exercise. And we wouldn’t overindulge in anything, ever. The world, however, is not a perfect place. Sometimes we need reminders to help us remain committed to our health and well-being. Consider, for a moment, the idea of a warning label on sugary beverages. Sugary drink warning labels may make parents stop and think twice.

Eating healthfully in America is hard. We have to contend with constant sugary and oily temptations, while pervasive ads coax us to eat these items day in and out.

The public health community generally agrees that regulations and taxes could help remind us of the potential health toll of the unhealthiest items — like beverages high in sugar — and keep us from consuming too much of them.

Lately, the idea of affixing a health warning label to sugary beverages also has been getting traction. So far, no city or state has been able to pass such a measure. But several are trying. California, New York and Baltimore all have legislation in the works requiring these labels on sugary drinks.

Until now, the effectiveness of such a label has been presumptive, drawing from the large body of research showing that warning labels on tobacco and alcohol products work.

But research appearing in the journal Pediatrics Thursday suggests that a warning label on sugary beverages might indeed deter people from buying the products.

The study was an online survey of about 2,400 parents from diverse backgrounds who were asked to choose a beverage for their child from an imaginary vending machine. The participants were randomly assigned one of six possible beverages: one with no label, one with a calorie label and four with different variations on a text warning label. The criteria for the (imaginary) beverages were drawn from proposed California legislation: any sweetened nonalcoholic drink with added sweeteners with 75 or more calories per 12 fluid ounces.

According to the researchers, led by Christina Roberto, assistant professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, significantly fewer parents in the study chose sugar-sweetened beverages if there was a warning label on it: just 40 percent, versus 60 percent who chose one with no label, and 53 percent who chose one with a calorie label.

“We were surprised that the warning labels had as big an impact as they did,” Roberto tells us. “I think the study shows us that calorie labels aren’t terribly effective, and warning labels might have a bigger impact.” The impact was actually two-fold: The labels educated consumers about the health harms of drinking sugary beverages and influenced their purchasing behavior as a result.
But while promising, the study offers only a vague idea of how warning labels might work in the real world, if a city like Baltimore or a state like California were to implement them. Roberto says she suspects the effect wouldn’t be as strong. “We certainly need more data to know for sure,” she says.

On Monday, a Baltimore councilman introduced legislation that would require businesses “that sell or advertise sugar-sweetened sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, juices, coffees and teas to post signs warning consumers that they contribute to tooth decay, obesity and diabetes,” the Baltimore Sun reported.

Leana Wen is the city’s health commissioner, and she’s hearing a lot of support from physicians and parents in Baltimore for the proposed policy. “Parents are telling us they would like information to level the playing field. They want to have accurate information for themselves and their children,” says Wen. “The evidence tells us that [other kinds of] warning labels on tobacco and alcohol products do have an effect on parents and consumer choices.”

But, Wen says, the beverage industry has been pushing back hard in Baltimore, lobbying legislators to reject the warning label policy and “frightening our small businesses, telling them they’re going to be hurt by this and lose business.”

It’s not clear whether the bill will make it out of committee. But Roberto says that her study revealed that support for such policies might be broad. Some 73 percent of the participants said they were in favor of a policy requiring a warning label on sugar-sweetened beverages.

The idea that similar labels do have powerful effects certainly makes this a worthwhile effort. It’s a reminder that may have a great impact on the public health … a small reminder might just go a long way.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/01/14/463061869/warning-labels-might-help-parents-buy-fewer-sugary-drinks-study-finds

Taco Bell thinks we should be drinking Starburst candy.

TacoBellStarburstCherryFreeze-600x350For FoodFacts.com, a Starburst Cherry Freeze is a doubly appalling concept. Think about it for a minute – the nutrition website whose blog is full of damning information on sugary beverages cannot possibly like a sugary frozen beverage associated with candy (more sugar). We really can’t think of any reason why consumers would embrace this concept either.

Just in case the idea of that double shot of sugar isn’t enough to turn you off to it, we went to the Taco Bell website to find out the facts behind the Starburst Cherry Freeze.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                190
Fat:                         0 grams
Sugar:                    51 grams

These nutrition facts are applicable to the 16 ounce size. Almost 13 TEASPOONS of sugar in a cup. That certainly puts the Starburst Cherry Freeze squarely in the sugary beverage category.

Going further, though, the ingredient list could be very important here. Starburst candies are brightly colored and this is a Starburst Cherry Freeze, so we’re envisioning something with color going on behind the scenes.

Ingredients: High fructose corn syrup, water, natural and artificial flavor, citric acid, yucca extract, quillaia extract, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (P), red 40 (C), calcium disodium EDTA (PF).

That color we were suspicious of is definitely in there. But it’s really worse than that. There are only 11 ingredients in this beverage and 6 of them are controversial. The Taco Bell Starburst Cherry Freeze isn’t really a beverage. It’s a frozen chemical concoction.

Not touching this one.

https://www.tacobell.com/food/nutrition/info

Another great reason to keep sugary beverages away from kids

SoftDrinkTaxMost people will acknowledge that there’s no reason for anyone to consume inordinate amounts of sugar in beverages. This is especially true when it comes to the youngest among us. Children and sugary drinks should not develop a relationship. And yet, despite that knowledge, we know that kids are consuming the beverages that everyone should be avoiding in large quanitites.

In the first study to investigate blood lipid levels in association with consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in a racially and ethnically diverse sample of Boston area schoolchildren, researchers found there was an inverse association between SSB intake changes and HDL-cholesterol increases (HDL-C is the “good cholesterol”). The study’s results also showed that a higher intake of SSBs was associated with a higher triglyceride concentration.

Notably, the researchers found that reducing SSB intake by at least one serving a week was associated with a greater increase in HDL-C over a 12-month period. The findings reinforce the importance of minimizing consumption of SSBs among children and adolescents. The paper, published in The Journal of Nutrition on September 2, notes that additional longitudinal research is needed in large, multi-ethnic samples of children to better understand the health implications of reducing SSBs.

“A clustering of risk factors including high triglycerides, low HDL-C, insulin resistance, and obesity, especially if begun in childhood, puts one at higher risk for future cardiovascular disease. In this study, we sought to better understand the relationship between lipid levels and SSB consumption in a population of schoolchildren in which health disparities were likely, and where future interventions could help improve diet quality and disease risk,” said Maria Van Rompay, PhD, the first author on the study, and a research associate and instructor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

While previous research has linked the intake of SSBs to greater cardiometabolic risk in adults, there is sparse longitudinal evidence in children. To add to the understanding of the phenomenon in children, the researchers examined the characteristics associated with consumption of SSBs in the multi-ethnic sample of children and adolescents, as well as mean SSB intake and changes in SSB intake with regard to key risk factors — plasma HDL-C and triglycerides — over a 12-month-period.

The impact of SSBs on obesity and other risk factors in children, including dyslipidemia (for example, a high level of triglycerides and low HDL-C in the blood) has been the subject of previous observational and descriptive studies. In addition, SSBs have been the main source of added sugars in children’s diets in the U.S., accounting for as much as 10% of total energy intake (118 kcal for 6 to 11 year olds, 225 kcal for 12 to 19 year olds) in 2010.

In the new study, children ages 8 to 15 years were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind vitamin D supplementation trial, the Daily D Health Study, led by senior author Jennifer Sacheck, PhD, associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Baseline SSB intake was self-reported using the Block Food Frequency Questionnaire for Children, and fasting blood lipid concentrations were taken in 613 children and adolescents.

Longitudinal measures were collected over 12 months in 380 of these youth. Sixty-eight percent of the children were from low socioeconomic status (SES) households; almost half were overweight or obese; 59% were from non-white/Caucasian racial/ethnic groups. Findings included:

• At baseline, approximately 85% of children/adolescents reported consuming SSBs during the past week. 18% of the sample consumed 7 or more servings per week, or approximately one serving or more daily.
• Greater SSB consumption was associated with older age, late puberty/post-puberty status and lower SES. SSB intake did not differ across racial and ethnic groups.
• Several characteristics did differ by race and ethnicity: puberty status, SES, body mass index (BMI) and sedentary time, along with HDL-C and triglyceride concentrations.
• Among 613 children/adolescents at baseline, higher triglycerides were linked with higher SSB intake, after accounting for demographic and behavioral factors, BMI, total calories and measures of diet quality.
• Over the 12-month period, the mean SSB intake was not associated with lipid changes; however, the increase in HDL-C was greatest among children who decreased their intake by one or more 12-oz. servings of SSBs per week compared to those whose intake stayed the same or increased.

• Greater SSB intake was associated with lower SES, higher total calorie consumption, lower fruit/vegetable intake, and a more sedentary lifestyle.

The researchers note that absence of an association between mean SSB intake and lipid changes over 12 months may be due to measurement error, e.g., possible misclassification of SSB intake or an under-reporting of SSBs especially from children who were overweight or obese.

Senior author Jennifer Sacheck commented, “Importantly, not only are most SSBs high in sugar and devoid of nutritional value, but they are displacing other foods and beverages that offer high nutritional quality, which are critical for children’s growth and development, further exacerbating the potential harmful health effects of SSBs.”

FoodFacts.com wants to remind everyone caring for children that sugary beverages are not only unnecessary, they’re actually harmful. Giving our children the best nutritional start in life is one of our responsibilities to the generations to come. Our legacy should include a healthy lifestyle.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150902141101.htm

Wendy’s Blackberry Lemonade … not the best way to beat the heat

THE WENDY'S COMPANYFoodFacts.com has noticed a trend in fast food lately. Chains seem to be introducing beverages outside of the soda category in an effort to listen to their consumers who are moving away from sodas in their beverage choices. We do like the trend, but some of the beverages have proven fairly questionable.

Today we’re taking a look at Wendy’s Blackberry Lemonade. In the heat of the summer this certainly sounds like a great choice with summery blackberries and old fashioned lemonade combining to quench our thirst. We feel like we have to investigate before we indulge though. So here’s the inside information.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:              390
Fat:                       0 grams
Sugar:                  93 grams

Wow. If we order the medium sized Blackberry Lemonade (depicted in these nutrition facts), we’ll be consuming over 23 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR!!!! We really don’t like this at all and we can’t think of anyone that would.

Ingredients:
Lemonade (sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon pulp, lemon juice concentrate, natural flavor), Blackberry Syrup (sugar, water, strawberries, blackberry puree, corn syrup, ginger, modified cornstarch, blackberry juice concentrate, natural flavor, raspberries, citric acid, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate [preservatives]).

We’re not particularly fond of the ingredient list either. Come on Wendy’s, why do we need natural flavors when the lemonade contains actual lemon juice and lemon pulp and the blackberry syrup contains real fruit? Why can’t that be flavorful enough? And we don’t understand the need for the sodium benzoate either.

Sorry Wendy’s, the new Blackberry Lemonade did not make our list of summer thirst quenchers. We would appreciate the opportunity to report on just one of these non-soda fast food beverages in a positive way. It appears, though, that we’ll have to keep waiting for that opportunity. This one is certainly not it.

https://www.wendys.com/en-us/nutrition-info

This is your body on Coke … does the infographic take things too far?

stopcolaFoodFacts.com is sure you’ve heard about it by now. The internet has been going crazy over a simple infographic that spells out in plain language exactly what’s happening inside your body after you drink a can of Coke.

A simple infographic about Coca-Cola has gone viral on the Internet and surely who reads it will make up his or her mind not to go for the soft drink any more even though it is a known fact people have enjoyed it for more than 129 years.

The not-at-all-pretty infographic reveals effects of Coke in human body systems within an hour after consumption. It says when one consumes the recommended ten teaspoons of sugar a day, blood sugar rises after 10 minutes and it results in a burst of insulin. This causes the release of more sugar in the bloodstream and thereafter blockage of adenosine receptors in the brain to prevent drowsiness.

The infographic reveals further the body raises production of dopamine after 45 minutes of consumption to stimulate brain’s pleasure centers. It also notes here that this is similar to how our body reacts to heroin.

What else? The extra sugar and artificial chemicals in the Coca-Cola as well as other such drinks further stimulate calcium to leave the system.

After one hour the diuretic properties of the caffeine is said to kick in and forces an individual to pee to deplete the water contained in the Coke. This also releases from the body the electrolytes that could otherwise be used by the body for nutrition.

The infographic suggests drinking Coke to get relief from thirst never replenishes the body, but in fact it further dehydrates the nutrients that helps in building strong bones and teeth.

So is this infographic worth the viral rounds it’s been sent on all over the internet? Is it telling people the truth?

Well … yes and no. There IS plenty of misinformation being disseminated here. We do feel that we should shed some light on various aspects of the infographic that are taking things just a tad too far.

For instance, no one ever vomited from drinking a beverage with ten teaspoons of sugar (or more for that matter) that did not contain phosphoric acid. Just ask anyone who really loves McDonald’s Chocolate Shakes and only orders the largest size available. That person is ingesting over 19 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR in that 22 ounce beverage that contains no phosphoric acid at all … and he’s not throwing up from the sugar.

At 20 minutes in, the infographic states that your insulin levels go up and cause your liver to create fat.

While your liver may well be creating fat, it’s not the insulin spike that’s the problem. It’s about how your liver metabolizes fructose.

There are plenty of other examples of overstatements in this infographic. FoodFacts.com does feel compelled to point these things out as we do believe in transparency in all things … even though we don’t think anyone should be drinking soda.

And while the overstatements, or embellishments, don’t help anyone make that case, everyone does need to know that soda and too much sugar ARE detrimental to your health.

The infographic went for drama. And that got a lot of attention. And that’s good. We need to pay attention to the idea that we shouldn’t be drinking soda and we need to get rid of the idea that it isn’t a big deal. It is.

http://www.piercepioneer.com/anti-coke-infographic-goes-viral-revealing-reactions-in-our-body/44329
http://www.buzzfeed.com/carolynkylstra/heres-whats-wrong-with-that-viral-coca-cola-graphic#.tek3wrd6p

Violating first amendment rights with health warning labels on sugary drinks?

soad warningThe American Beverage Association thinks so and they’re suing the city of San Francisco to make their point.

The American Beverage Association has sued the city of San Francisco, claiming new legislation requiring health warning labels on sugary beverages and prohibiting advertisements of them on city property violates the First Amendment.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the association filed the lawsuit on Friday.

The lawsuit says the city “is trying to ensure that there is no free marketplace of ideas, but instead only a government-imposed, one-sided public ‘dialogue’ on the topic — in violation of the First Amendment.”

The Board of Supervisors in June unanimously approved an ordinance that requires health warnings on ads for sugary drinks. The measure requires those warnings be placed along ads on billboards, buses, transit shelters, posters and stadiums.
The label would read: “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.”

It’s an interesting argument. But FoodFacts.com is skeptical, at best. That warning label isn’t impeding the rights of citizens. Instead, it’s actually giving consumers the other side of the story not represented in the beverage company’s advertising. Really the ABA is arguing for the rights of beverage companies to promote their products in a very one-sided manner. The real free marketplace of ideas they speak of is one where all sides of the story are acknowledged, instead of the one where the beverage company touts the merits of its sugar-sweetened beverage without any acknowledgement of the possible health effects of said beverage.

While it sounds quite American to argue in a lawsuit that the First Amendment rights of consumers are being violated through this new legislation, it does strike us as an attempt at a smoke-and-mirrors end run around the law. The ABA isn’t arguing for our First Amendment rights as consumers. Instead, they’re arguing for the First Amendment rights of the beverage companies. Last time we checked, First Amendment rights applied to people, not corporations.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/san-francisco-soda-warnings-advertising-ban-lawsuit/

Dunkin’s new Tropical Mango Smoothie … a great way to beat the heat?

1435117835051Summer is in full swing here in the U.S. Depending on where you live, mid-July can bring 100 degree temperatures and the kind of humidity that can make walking to your car feel like walking around inside a steam room. FoodFacts.com knows that at this time of year so many of us are looking for ways to cool down and beat the heat.

To try and help us do that, Dunkin Donuts has just introduced their new Tropical Mango Smoothie. Just the use of the word smoothie conveys the idea of a healthier beverage. That may have been true a while back, but these days you really never know what’s going on with any new food or beverage introduction until you take a closer look. So let’s explore the Tropical Mango Smoothie.

Nutrition Facts
Calories:                 260
Fat:                          2 grams
Saturated Fat:       1 gram
Sugar:                     50 grams

There are 12.5 teaspoons of sugar in the small size (that’s the only one available on the website for nutrition facts). Cooling down doesn’t mean we need to load up on sugar and this smoothie really goes overboard with sweetness. Now let’s see what Dunkin has chosen to include in the smoothie recipe.

INGREDIENTS: Water; Yogurt: Pasteurized and Cultured Skim Milk, Sugar, Cream, Nonfat Dry Milk, Stabilizer (Tapioca Starch, Carrageenan, Locust Bean Gum), Yogurt Cultures: Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus; Tropical Mango Flavored Concentrate: Water, Mango Puree Concentrate, Sugar, Passion Fruit Puree, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Yellow 5, Yellow 6; Diced Pineapple; Diced Peaches (Peaches, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid and Malic Acid to promote color retention); Liquid Cane Sugar: Pure Cane Sugar, Water, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative).

While the list isn’t overweighed with controversial ingredients, we really don’t like the idea that there are artificial colors included in the list. We’re don’t understand why it was necessary. There’s actual fruit in here – mango puree, passion fruit puree, pineapple and peaches. All of which are beautifully colored by nature. We’re assuming Dunkin didn’t think it would be yellow enough to be attractive to consumers, so including artificial color made sense. We just don’t think like that.

We’ll be turning to other cooling beverages this summer to keep ourselves from overheating. We still believe that iced water and freshly brewed iced tea are better options in the midst of rising temperatures. And if we want a smoothie, we can mix one up ourselves without Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. We’re sure we’ll like the resulting color just fine.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/dunkindonuts/en/menu/beverages/frozenbeverages/coolatta/tropical_mango_smoothie.html

New research links sugary drinks with deaths worldwide

sugary drinksFoodFacts.com takes issue with the existence of chemically-laden sugary beverages – sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks, canned and bottled iced teas, the list goes on. The sugar content is far too high, especially with the myriad of information we have that points directly to our over-consumption of all things sweet. In addition, the ingredient lists for these beverages most often resemble scientific experiments. We’re uncomfortable with that. After reading this latest research, we hope you’re uncomfortable with it too.

Consumption of sugary drinks may lead to an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year worldwide, according to research published today in the journal Circulation and previously presented as an abstract at the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention in 2013.

“Many countries in the world have a significant number of deaths occurring from a single dietary factor, sugar-sweetened beverages. It should be a global priority to substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., senior author of the study and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University in Boston.

In the first detailed global report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages, researchers estimated deaths and disabilities from diabetes, heart disease, and cancers in 2010. In this analysis, sugar sweetened beverages were defined as any sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, or homemade sugary drinks such as frescas, that contained at least 50 kcal per 8oz serving. 100 percent fruit juice was excluded.

Estimates of consumption were made from 62 dietary surveys including 611,971 individuals conducted between 1980 and 2010 across 51 countries, along with data on national availability of sugar in 187 countries and other information. This allowed capture of geographical, gender and age variation in consumption levels of sugar-sweetened beverages in different populations. Based on meta-analyses of other published evidence on health harms of sugar-sweetened beverages, the investigators calculated the direct impact on diabetes and the obesity-related effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

In 2010, the researchers estimate that sugar-sweetened beverages consumption may have been responsible for approximately:

• 133,000 deaths from diabetes
• 45,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease
• 6,450 deaths from cancer

“Some population dietary changes, such as increasing fruits and vegetables, can be challenging due to agriculture, costs, storage, and other complexities. This is not complicated. There are no health benefits from sugar-sweetened beverages, and the potential impact of reducing consumption is saving tens of thousands of deaths each year,” Mozaffarian said.

The impact of sugar-sweetened beverages varied greatly between populations. At the extremes, the estimated percentage of deaths was less than 1 percent in Japanese over 65 years old, but 30 percent in Mexican adults younger than 45. Of the 20 most populous countries, Mexico had the highest death rate attributable to sugar-sweetened beverages with an estimated 405 deaths per million adults (24,000 total deaths) and the U.S. ranked second with an estimated 125 deaths per million adults (25,000 total deaths).

About 76 percent of the estimated sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths occurred in low- or middle-income countries.

In nations of the Caribbean and Latin America, such as Mexico, homemade sugary drinks (e.g. frescas) are popular and consumed in addition to commercially prepared sugar-sweetened beverages. “Among the 20 countries with the highest estimated sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths, at least 8 were in Latin America and the Caribbean, reflecting the high intakes in that region of the world,” said Gitanjali Singh, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a research assistant professor at the Friedman School.

Overall, in younger adults, the percent of chronic disease attributed to sugar-sweetened beverages was higher than the percent in older adults. “The health impact of sugar-sweetened beverage intake on the young is important because younger adults form a large sector of the workforce in many countries, so the economic impact of sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths and disability in this age group can be significant. It also raises concerns about the future. If these young people continue to consume high levels as they age, the effects of high consumption will be compounded by the effects of aging, leading to even higher death and disability rates from heart disease and diabetes than we are seeing now,” Singh said.

Are sugary drinks really worth all that? Isn’t it time for us all to rethink our beverage consumption? Maybe while we’re doing all that thinking, we should pour ourselves a nice glass of ice cold water. At least it’s a start.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150629162646.htm

Only at Taco Bell … the new Mountain Dew Sangrita Blast

Dew_Sangrita_FtnIt’s only at Taco Bell. Honestly, that’s too much as it is. This new drink is that special.

Take a look at the image on the Taco Bell site. It’s red soda. Hence the “Sangrita” reference we suppose. And all we can say is please don’t drink this.

If you visit the Pepsico website, you’ll find that you can choose a custom size in order to determine the nutrition facts. FoodFacts.com quickly figured out that this was the way Pepsico could have consumers believe that this new beverage isn’t so bad. Unfortunately, most folks in a fast food restaurant aren’t drinking 8 ou. Beverages. So for the purpose of this post, we’ve customized our nutrition facts for the Mountain Dew Sangrita Blast to a 16 ou. Beverage with 25% ice in our cup.
Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                 190
Fat:                          0 grams
Sugar:                     53 grams

In every 16 ou. cup, you’ll find 13 and a quarter teaspoons of sugar. But FoodFacts.com knew that it couldn’t end there. There’s more to discover about the Mountain Dew Sangrita Blast. And it certainly has everything to do with what meets the eye. Anytime we see an oddly colored food or beverage, we can pretty much count on the idea that we are not going to like the ingredient list. And we certainly weren’t wrong about that here.

CARBONATED WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SODIUM CITRATE, GUM ARABIC, CAFFEINE, RED 40, SODIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT FLAVOR),GLYCEROL ESTER OF ROSIN, SUCROSE ACETATE ISOBUTYRATE, BLUE 1

Red 40 and Blue 1 are what you’re seeing in that image. They’re accompanied by high fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial flavor, sodium benzoate, calcium disodium EDTA and caffeine.

The world did not need a brand new chemical concoction to ingest … especially not one with over 13 teaspoons of sugar. Needless to say, we won’t be going near this.

http://www.pepsicobeveragefacts.com/home/product?formula=F0000002029&form=FTN&size=8

If you’re drinking sugary beverages every day you may be increasing your risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Daily-sugar-sweetened-beverages-linked-to-fatty-liver-diseaseThere are plenty of problems we’re already used to associating with drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. Obesity and diabetes come immediately to mind when we think about the subject. Now FoodFacts.com has read some new information that we should all be aware of linking sugary drinks to a different problem.

A daily sugar-sweetened beverage habit may increase the risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HRNCA) at Tufts University report in the Journal of Hepatology.

The researchers analyzed 2,634 self-reported dietary questionnaires from mostly Caucasian middle-aged men and women enrolled in the National Heart Lunch and Blood Institute (NHLBI Framingham Heart Study’s Offspring and Third Generation cohorts. The sugar-sweetened beverages on the questionnaires included caffeinated- and caffeine-free colas, other carbonated beverages with sugar, fruit punches, lemonade or other non-carbonated fruit drinks. The participants underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan to measure the amount of fat in the liver and the authors of the current study used a previously defined cut-point to identify NAFLD. They saw a higher prevalence of NAFLD among people who reported drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage per day compared to people who said they drank no sugar-sweetened beverages.

The relationships between sugar-sweetened beverages and NAFLD persisted after the authors accounted for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and dietary and lifestyle factors such as calorie intake, alcohol, and smoking. In contrast, after accounting for these factors the authors found no association between diet cola and NAFLD. “Our study adds to a growing body of research suggesting that sugar-sweetened beverages may be linked to NAFLD and other chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” said first author Jiantao Ma, Ph.D., a former doctoral student in the Nutrition Epidemiology Program at the USDA HNRCA and a graduate of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

NAFLD is characterized by an accumulation of fat in the liver cells that is unrelated to alcohol consumption. NAFLD is diagnosed by ultrasounds, CT, MRI, or biopsy, and many of the approximately 25% of Americans with the disease don’t experience any symptoms. Being obese or overweight increases the risk for NAFLD and people with NAFLD are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are a major dietary source of fructose, the sugar that is suspected of increasing risk of NAFLD because of how our bodies process it. “Few observational studies, to date, have examined the relationship between sugar-sweetened beverages and NAFLD,” Ma said. “Long-term prospective studies are needed to help ascertain the potential role of sugar-sweetened beverages in the development of NAFLD.”

“The cross-sectional nature of this study prevents us from establishing causality. Future prospective studies are needed to account for the changes in beverage consumption over time as soda consumers may switch to diet soda and these changes may be related to weight status,” added corresponding and senior author Nicola McKeown, Ph.D., a scientist in the Nutritional Epidemiology Program at the USDA HNRCA and an associate professor at the Friedman School. “Although there is much more research to be done, sugar-sweetened beverages are a source of empty calories, and people need to be mindful of how much they are drinking, perhaps by reserving this habit for special occasions.”

The over-consumption of sugar is a rampant problem in American diets. We’re getting the bulk of the sugar in our diets without even realizing it. Sugar is lurking in processed foods and drinks like soda in amounts most consumers don’t understand. Unless consumers are reading labels carefully and checking the nutrition facts for the foods and beverages they’re consuming at fast food and fast casual chains and then keeping track of the grams of sugar as they add up during the day, it’s actually difficult to know for sure. As we learn more about the effects of consuming sugary drinks from studies like this one, it becomes more important than ever to consciously monitor our sugar intake. We’ll all be healthier for it.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150605182352.htm