In the city that is the home of coca-cola and in the land of sweet tea, the idea of restricting sugary drinks at first seems counterproductive economically and culturally. However, there is a link between obesity and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Last fall New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed restrictions on soft drinks larger than 16 ounces and they were approved. Although, these proposed bans are currently being challenged in court, it is not out of the realm of possibility that bans such as these could one day make their way to Georgia, the state with second highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation.
The term “soft drink” does not only equate with sodas. The sugar-sweetened drinks associated with obesity also include energy drinks, sweetened fruit drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened teas and coffees. (www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/data/datawatch/Volume1103.aspx).
To get a better idea of what you are drinking, a twelve-ounce container of any of these drinks contains an average of 150 calories and seven teaspoons of sugar. (www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sugary-vs-diet-drinks/#weight)
Soft drinks have been thought to be tied to obesity because they provide a person with empty calories, making a person still feel hungry to eat more calories, ultimately leading to weight gain. In addition, it is thought that the sugar in soft drinks makes people not only want to eat more, but to want to eat sugary foods. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2862465/)
It is always advisable to consume these types of beverages in moderation. The next time one considers tossing back a sweet drink, consider the calories and sugar in some of Atlanta's classics.
Atlanta beverages – sugar and calorie count
Small 170 calories; 43 grams of sugar
Chick-fil-A Sweet Tea
Small 90 calories; 24 grams of sugar
Coca-Cola, 12 oz- 140 calories; 39 grams of sugar
The Varsity's Frosted Orange, 16 oz- 444 calories