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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Default Nutritionists: Soda making Americans drink themselves fat

    Nutritionists: Soda making Americans drink themselves fat

    (CNN) -- If you're searching for a villain in America's obesity epidemic, most nutritionists tell you to put one picture on the wanted poster: a cold, bubbly glass of soda pop.

    "Liquid candy" to detractors, sweetened soft drinks are so ubiquitous that they contribute about 10 percent of the calories in the American diet, according to government data.

    In fact, said Dr. David Ludwig, a Harvard endocrinologist whose 2001 paper in the Lancet is widely cited by obesity researchers, sweetened drinks are the only specific food that clinical research has directly linked to weight gain.

    "Highly concentrated starches and sugars promote overeating, and the granddaddy of them all is sugar-sweetened beverages," said Ludwig, who runs the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Children's Hospital in Boston.

    The rise in soft drink consumption mirrors the national march toward obesity. At the midpoint of the 20th century, Americans drank four times as much milk as soda pop. Today, the ratio is almost completely reversed, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, in the past 30 years the national obesity rate has more than doubled, and among teenagers, more than tripled, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    "Soda pop is a quintessential junk food," said Michael Jacobson, who heads the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which lobbies for government restrictions on foods it considers unhealthy. "It's just pure calories, and no nutrients. It's like a bomb in our diet."

    Jacobson said the CSPI is pushing to require obesity warning labels on the sides of soda cans, like the surgeon general's warning on cigarettes.

    While nutritionists are united in their dislike for nondiet soda, the "why" is controversial.

    Some point a finger at high-fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, the sweetener used in most nondiet drinks. Last month, researchers at Rutgers University said they'd identified compounds in HFCS which may start a chemical chain reaction, leading to diabetes.

    Most scientists, though, say there's little difference between HFCS and simple sugar, either in chemistry or the way they're handled by the body.

    A bigger problem, doctors say, is simply the sheer number of calories. You'll find about 400 calories in a 32-ounce "extra-large" Coke, a fast-food staple. That's nearly a quarter of what the average adult woman needs in a whole day.

    Scientists also say the body doesn't respond to liquid calories in the same way it would if those calories came in the form of French fries or chocolate cake. Appetite is controlled by a complex mix of hormones. Some signal the brain that your stomach is getting full. Others, including a hormone known as ghrelin, signal it's time to eat again.

    If you eat a big burger, the level of ghrelin drops for a few hours. That drop doesn't happen if you drink a Big Gulp soda, even if it has more calories than the burger, according to Wayne Campbell, a professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University.

    "We're finding your hunger does not go down as far when you consume a beverage, as when you consume a solid," Campbell said. The result: Even with 400 liquid calories in your stomach, you polish off the burger too.

    Campbell cautioned that the ghrelin theory isn't proven and that other factors -- such as a food's smell, or the sensation of chewing -- may affect appetite just as much, or even more. Our expectations also play a role.

    "Soup is the anomaly to the liquid calorie research," he said. "People perceive soup as a meal, unlike drinking a Coke. So when we've done these types of studies, but used soup as the liquid, we don't see the same differences in [appetite] response."

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    The sugar in soda pop not only provides a massive dose of calories, but triggers a vicious appetite cycle, said Ludwig, who wrote "Ending the Food Fight," about healthy eating for children.

    "It's rapidly absorbed, which raises blood sugar and in effect causes the body to panic." The body releases insulin to break down the sugar, "but the body overcompensates, and blood sugar drops below the fasting level," lower than it was in the first place.

    Recognizing low blood sugar, the body releases ghrelin and other hormones, inducing hunger, inducing us to eat even more, Ludwig said.

    The public is catching on, he said.

    "In our obesity clinic, we used to routinely see patients coming in who were drinking four or five soft drinks a day. Now it's rare. That seems to be the first factor that comes to mind, when people are trying to lose weight."

    Soft drink companies, under fire, are taking steps including a pledge last year to phase out nondiet soft drinks from America's schools.

    A progress report issued Monday by the American Beverage Association said that shipments to schools of sweetened soda are down 45 percent since 2004, while shipments of bottled water are up 23 percent.


    "There's no question the changes that are happening in schools are a mirror of what's happening in the larger marketplace," said Susan Neely, the ABA's president & CEO. "Adults, like kids, are reaching for lower-calorie beverages. ... As a consumer product company, we want to give consumers what they want."

    While fighting obesity is complicated, Ludwig said, the first step is clear. "Giving up sugary soda for diet drinks, or water, will cause you to lose weight."
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  2. #2
    Baluchitherium mistere's Avatar
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    In other news, wars are about oil and titties are still nice.

    Seriously tho, been off soda for a long time now, and not only
    am I thinner, but the mere thought of soda is not appealling to me
    in the least anymore. It's gross. Someone handed me a free Coke
    yesterday, and I took one sip and gave it back. Funny what we
    become accustomed to.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Ahh...now that explains the 900 pound guy.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  4. #4
    Little Dreamer Fighting_Irish's Avatar
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    I only drink diet now - I feel guilty when I drink a can of "regular" soda since it is 100 calories a pop, pun intended....

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk I Coulda Hada VH's Avatar
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    I gave up soda and fast food about 16 months ago. I lost 30 lbs within the first 4 months and I've kept it off.
    "It's so lonely at the top because it's so crowded at the bottom" - Diamond David Lee Roth

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  6. #6
    Eruption
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    I've pretty much given up soda myself

  7. #7
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    It took scientist to figure this out? Hell I am no scientist I knew Soda made ya fat.
    ((Just My Two Cents))
    And thats about what its worth.

  8. #8
    Good Enough VivaVH's Avatar
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    Soda may make you fat, but at least pop doesn't.
    If it's BROWN, flush it DOWN.

    GO STEELERS!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    Ahh...now that explains the 900 pound guy.
    That's cold, but probably true and funny!!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fighting_Irish View Post
    I only drink diet now - I feel guilty when I drink a can of "regular" soda since it is 100 calories a pop, pun intended....
    Not to make you feel bad, but diet drinks can actually be worse than the regular versions. Also, it's been proven that diet drinks don't help you lose weight or fat. In some cases, it makes things worse.

    The use of aspertame in drinks (artificially sweeteners) can cause weight gain and cancer. In other words.....Diet Coke=bad!

    I used to drink Diet Coke like it was going out of style. That was up until two years ago.

    When I stopped drinking all soft drinks (regular and diet), the weight started to fall off and I actually started feeling 10 time better.

    Now, I drink tons of water, green tea (unsweetened) and black coffee (unsweetened).
    "France has neither winter, nor summer, nor morals. France is miserable because it is filled with Frenchmen, and Frenchmen are miserable because they live in France." - Mark Twain

  11. #11
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    I cut soda out completely about a month ago (though I hadn't been drinking all that much before). It's got no nutritional value, makes you fat, and rots your teeth. It's a no-brainer, but people still drink it like they should water.

  12. #12
    Baluchitherium Ted Van Halen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDBoy View Post
    ...I used to drink Diet Coke like it was going out of style. That was up until two years ago.

    When I stopped drinking all soft drinks (regular and diet), the weight started to fall off and I actually started feeling 10 time better.

    Now, I drink tons of water, green tea (unsweetened) and black coffee (unsweetened).
    That's me to the letter almost. As part of the chemo-therapy protocol I'm on right now, I don't even eat pre-packaged proccessed foods anymore due to sodium/fat content. I actually have more energy & feel better now than I did 4 months ago BEFORE I started the chemo. It doesn't make sense but it's the truth. There's no way I'll ever go back.


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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    I cut soda out completely about a month ago (though I hadn't been drinking all that much before). It's got no nutritional value, makes you fat, and rots your teeth. It's a no-brainer, but people still drink it like they should water.
    Don't know about where you are from, but around here, the tap water is nasty!!!!

    Plus, water provides wonderful flavors that regular or bottled water cannot provide. That's why so many people drink pop.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  14. #14
    Atomic Punk jimmy812's Avatar
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    There are a lot of bad things out there. Soda is just one of them. I drink soda in moderation. Maybe a couple times a week I'll have some soda. No big deal.
    Pizza isn't fat-free and I'm not going to stop eating that either. Chicken wings are full of fat, but they're so good. I just don't consume this stuff every day. Once in a while is ok, besides, absence makes the stomach grow fonder.
    It also helps if you're active. Well, I am off to the gym right now. Later.
    2-time Fantasy Baseball Champion.

 

 

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