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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Soda causes obesity?

I wouldn't be surprised if this were true for some people, but recent research from Tufts University suggests that soda and sweet drinks are providing the majority of the calories in the average U.S. diet.
Among respondents to the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), more than two thirds reported drinking enough soda and/or sweet drinks to provide them with a greater proportion of daily calories than any other food. In addition, obesity rates were higher among these sweet drink consumers. Consumers of 100% orange juice and low fat milk, on the other hand, tended to be less overweight, on average.

I am not sure I am buying into this. A 12 oz coke has what, 200 calories? To obtain the majority of the average 3000 calories per day, one needs 1500 calories per day from soda alone? This is 7 1/2 cokes per day?

I drink diet sodas and don't like sweets in general and I am not considered obese (yet). My brother gave up Mellow Yellow and lost forty pounds over the course of a couple of months, so I am sure that for some the soda is a problem. But for a majority of the folks?

You really should buy into this and here is why:

1) The average person does not eat/drink 3000 calories per day. A rough estimate for the average daily calorie intake is 2000. (That's why the nutritional labels of the food you buy say that the "percent daily values" are based on a 2,000 calorie diet)

2)Based on this, one needs only 1000 calories per day from soda alone. This is 5 cokes per day as opposed to 7 1/2 cokes.

If you still have doubts that people drink that much coke, go the UC on campus at lunch time and I am sure you might change your opinion about the results of the study.
Okay, so if you consume 2000 calories per day you will be obese? All the science I have seen suggests that 2000 calories a day and you will come in right at your target weight. If you consume 2000 calories per day, and that is it, why would it matter whether the calories came from soda or from potatoes? If you consume more than 2000 calories per day, then you run the risk of being overweight.

Five to seven cokes per day - two at lunch, two at dinner, two during the breaks? Diet soda has no calories, but probably contains other bad things likes aspertaine, and such.

Remember that the study claims that fully 2/3 of the adult population is getting their calories from soda. If this were true Coke and Pepsi shares would be going through the roof - which they aren't.

Junk science yields junk result which doesn't pass the smell test.
I agree! Chances that you are obese if you consume 2000 calories per day are pretty low. However, remember that the study doesn't say that only obese people drink more than half of their calories. It says 2/3 of the adult population do.

However, no matter how many people among the 2/3 are obese, I have to change my mind and agree with you. You win! The study stinks. And it stinks even more after reading a previous study from the same website only a few months ago:

Quote: "...Young adults ages 19 to 39 drank the most soft drinks, increasing their intake from 4.1 percent to 9.8 percent of total daily calorie consumption..."

Somebody is lying here!
I made the connection between obesity and soda a bit stronger than the study - I appreciate the correction.

Beyond the glandular issues, it seems obvious that calories in > calories out is the source of obesity problems, not soda per se. Perhaps I am fatalistic about things, but it seems that these types of studies set the grounds (intentional or not) for public policy that comes along later.
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