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12-15-2003, 12:49 PM
More Than Anything, This Makes Us Fat

It's most likely what you drink--and not what you eat--that packs on the pounds.

That's the surprising news from researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in Chapel Hill who determined that, on average, we're consuming 83 more calories a day from caloric sweeteners than we did in 1977. And 80 percent of that--66 calories--comes from soft drinks and sugary fruit drinks, reports HealthDayNews.

If you think 83 additional calories a day isn't that much, think again. If you were to consume an additional 10 calories a day, in one year you would have gained a pound.

The "caloric sweeteners" that are adding all these calories to our diet include sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, and other products. "If we are going to consume more beverages, we are going to gain weight," lead author Dr. Barry Popkin told HealthDayNews. "We consume a little more from ready-to-eat cereals, candy, a little extra dessert, but those pale in comparison to the soft drinks and fruit drinks."

One problem is that fluids don't make us as full as solids, so we consume more. Or worse, they replace more healthy choices, such as nonfat milk. "When you drink highly sweetened beverages, they don't feel like a thick, rich, creamy, high-calorie treat--but they are," Samantha Heller, senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Medical Center, explained to HealthDayNews. "You don't necessarily feel it until you step on the scale or try to fit into your blue jeans."

Who consumes the most soft drinks and fruit drinks? People who are between the ages of 10 to 30. "That's the time when it's even scarier, when we get our bone density, when we need milk and need many of the foods that have nutrients, not just nothing--which is what sugar has," Popkin explained. "Sugar has calories to make us fat with no other benefit."

After soft drinks and fruit drinks, desserts and sugar/jellies are the major sources of caloric sweeteners in the United States, reports HealthDayNews. Popkin wants added sugar to be included on food labels so it's no longer a hidden ingredient.

The study findings were published in the journal Obesity Research.

found this on netscape or something, the AIM thing that pops up when i log on.