SPARTANBURG — Friends may call you sugar because you’re so sweet, but having too much sugar in your diet is anything but sweet.
According to CA4Health, a project of the Public Health Institute, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the amount of sugar in the average 20 oz. cola is equal to 22 packs of sugar containing 3 grams of sugar each; the average person in the United States drank 45 gallons of sugary drinks in 2009; and each sugary drink a child has each day increases their risk of obesity by 60 percent.
The CA4Health project states that the extra calories from the added sugar you consume in sugary drinks may lead to not only obesity, but Type 2 Diabetes, and heart disease.
Burning It Off
You can, however, burn off those calories from those sugary drinks, but are willing to walk anywhere from nearly 30 minutes to more than an hour to burn them off, walking a minimum of 3.5 miles per hours.
A 20 oz. bottle of fruit drink contains the equivalent of 23 packets of sugar or 305 calories. To burn it off you would have to walk for 66 minutes.
A 20 oz. bottle of cola contains the equivalent of 22 packets of sugar or 242 calories. To burn it off you would have to walk for 52 minutes.
A 16 oz. can of energy drink contains the equivalent of 20 packets of sugar or 240 calories. To burn it off you would have to walk for 52 minutes.
A 20 oz. can of sweetened tea contains the equivalent of 19 packets of sugar or 213 calories. To burn it off you would have to walk for 45 minutes.
A 12.5 oz. bottle of fruit flavored soda contains the equivalent of 15 packets of sugar or 165 calories. To burn it off you would have to walk for 36 minutes.
A 20 oz. bottle of sports drink contains the equivalent of 12 packets or sugar or 125 calories. To burn it off you would have to walk for 27 minutes.
A 20 oz. bottle of vitamin-added water contains the equivalent of 11 packets of sugar or 125 calories. To burn it off you would have to walk for 27 minutes.
How many times after consuming one bottle/can of any of these drinks do you go walking to burn off the calories? Do you walk the necessary amount of time at the necessary speed?
There is, however, a drink that can quench your thirst which contains no sugar and no calories and you don’t have to walk to burn it off because it takes zero minutes to burn it off.
It’s called water.
Yes, a 20 oz. bottle contains no sugar and has no calories and you don’t have to walk 3.5 miles per hour for even a minute, even a second to burn if off because it’s water and your body was designed to ingest it much better than it was sugar.
What You Can Do
The CA4Health project makes the following recommendations on what you should drink to reduce your consumption of sugary drinks and help others do likewise:
• Drink water when thirsty.
• Choose water and unflavored low-fat 1% or non-fat milk for your family.
• Limit the amount of sugary drinks you serve or keep in your home.
• Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator.
• Bring a refillable container of water with you while you work or run errands.
• Be a role model for family and friends by drinking water.
• Ask your school, community, and work place to limit sugary drinks and offer healthier beverages.
The information for this story was originally published by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Choose Health LA initiative and was provided by the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.