Consumption of Sodas in Children's Diet - Predictor of Weight Gain
Nutrition and Glycemic Index Value of Sodas

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Consumption of Sodas:
Classic High Glycemic Index Carbohydrate

Regular soda is a classic example of a high-glycemic-index carbohydrate. Apart from calories, it has almost no nutrition, and contains a high level of refined sugar. (See Nutritional Values in Soda (Comparison), below.)

American Consumption of Soda

  • In 2001, Americans spent $61 billion on sodas. (Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest.)
  • Per capita consumption of sodas has increased almost 500 percent over the past five years.
  • 56 percent of 8 year olds consume soft drinks daily.
  • 1 in 3 teenage boys drink at least three cans of soda a day.
  • The number one beverage of children for breakfast is soda.
  • Today boys and girls consume twice as much soda pop as milk.
  • Every day, teenagers get 11 percent of their calories or 15 teaspoons of sugar from soft drinks.
  • In the 1950s a typical bottle of soda was 6.5 ounces (88 calories), then it grew to 12 oz (160 calories); now it is 20 ounces (266 calories).
  • Teenage boys and girls drink twice as much soda pop as milk, whereas 20 years ago they drank nearly twice as much milk as soda. (Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest)

Glycemic Index of Sodas

Regular sodas are packed with simple sugars that cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. They rank as high glycemic index foods with typical GI values of 90 (Fanta) -136 (Energy Drinks).

Sodas - Predictor of Weight Gain in Children

US researchers have found that the strongest predictor of weight gain in children aged 11-12 years, is the consumption of sodas - the classic high-glycemic-index food. Apparently, calories in liquid form appear to blunt the appetite less than calories in solid foods. (The Diet Bible, Wills J, 2001)

Table 1. Nutrition in Regular Soda, Orange Juice, Low Fat Milk

Per 12oz Serving Regular Soda Orange Juice Milk (1%)
Calories, (kcal) 160 168 153
Vitamin A, IU 0 291 750
Vitamin C, mg 0 146 3
Calcium, mg 0 33 450
Magnesium, mg 0 36 51
Potassium, mg 0 711 352

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