Indiana News

Study: Sugary Drinks Are Main Culprit in Kids' High Calorie Diets

3/15/2013

New research may prompt you to limit the amount of soda your kids drink. Investigators studied the nutrition habits of nearly 11,000 children and found teenagers who drink sugary beverages ate more unhealthy foods. But when observing the whole meals consumed by children ages 6-11 and 12-18 years old, sugary drinks were the primary contributors to high calorie daily intake.

Dr. Michele Saysana, pediatrician and Medical Director of Quality and Safety at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, says limiting the amount of soda a child consumes would be a positive step toward cutting calorie consumption. "If we could avoid soda and juice, because they are all sort of empty calorie containing drinks, do that from a young age, then most likely you are going to have better habits, healthier habits as a teenager and an adult," Saysana said.

Dr. Saysana says soda can harm more than just teeth. "It could potentially cause osteoporosis or softening of the bones later on in life, and so that's why we would recommend limiting the amount that you drink regardless of what kind it is," she said.  Water is the best option, but Saysana says skim milk is also good, along with beverages that use low calorie sweeteners.

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