The Hidden Secret in Your Drink – Shreya Papneja

“Don’t drink your calories” is a phrase I remember hearing repeatedly from a young age, but never quiet grasped the concept of it until recently.

It comes to no surprise that one out of five children and adolescents in America is currently in a struggling race against the obesity epidemic, fighting to win. Childhood obesity is a chronic disease and is defined as a disorder of excess body fat, which increases the risk for health issues and premature mortality [Lakshman, Elks, and Ong]. In the United States, between specific years, during 1971–1974, childhood obesity was present among 5% of 2–19 year olds, however, in 2007–2008, childhood obesity existed among 16.9% of 2–19 year olds[Ogden and Carroll]. These shocking numbers prove that over the years, childhood obesity has significantly increased due to the abundant fast food restaurants clouding our streets, cheap prices of processed snacks attracting more customers by the day, and the addiction of cellphones and television, replacing the motivation to move.

The way our body works is straightforward. If you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. But, if you take in more calories than you burn, your body mass increases. Therefore, in order to maintain a healthy weight, it is essential to consume a well, balanced diet and exercise on a regular basis. Simple right? Now, let’s talk about your favorite sugary or fizzy drinks — one of the biggest factors to the childhood obesity epidemic.

According to Katherine Tallmadge, a registered dietician, calories in drinks are stealth calories and she mentions that “scientific evidence confirms that although such liquids count as calories, the body doesn’t detect them the same way as it would detect solid food”.

In order to maintain a healthy weight, avoid consuming sugary and fizzy drinks and focus on eating nutritional foods containing vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fats, etc. If you’re thirsty, reach for a glass of water. Unlike other drinks, water doesn’t make you hungry as it has zero calories, is not carbonated, and has no sugar! Consuming a diet which is less in sugar and less in unhealthy carbohydrates will keep you full for longer and extremely satisfied.

Cities, such as Philadelphia, have introduced a tax for soda and soda sales have plummeted immensely. Although this is bad news for the soda companies, the health of the public is benefiting.

We, as a community, must fight the temptation of unhealthy drinks and foods, in order to get us one step closer to an obesity free world!

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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !

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