Just how bad can sugary drinks be?
By definition, a sugary beverage is one with added sugar or other sweeteners, which provides added calories. Refined sugar has zero nutritional value -- no vitamins, minerals, fiber or enzymes. What it does have, however, is a link to obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, acne, osteoarthritis, some cancers, fatigue, headaches, hypoglycemia, nervous tension, dental erosion and stiffening of arteries.
The burden of obesity
Costs stemming from obesity in the U.S. have been estimated at $190 billion annually. Bloomberg said this is the first time in history that more people will die from overeating than from starvation. The American Beverage Association, representing the nonalcoholic beverage industry stated, "Health cannot be legislated, mandated or decreed -- it must be learned and practiced by individuals." This is true, of course; regardless of what bans are in force, we as Americans always make the final decision as to what we put in our grocery carts or pull from our own refrigerators.
Hopefully, this public debate on the ban known as the "Portion Cap Rule" will ignite a discussion and serve to enlighten those who choose to drink sugary beverages as their main form of hydration. Although this type of ban infringes upon our right to freedom of choice, it begs the question of how America will support itself under the growing burden of obesity that stems from so many unhealthy choices.
Cindy Boggs, wellness presenter and author, is an ACE-certified instructor/trainer. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to cindys...@aol.com. Look for her award-winning fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her website, www.cindysays.com.