Health Pros: Consider Alternatives to Sugary Drinks as School Returns
Thursday, August 18, 2022
It's almost time for kids in Washington state to head back to school, and some might gravitate toward soda and other drinks with lots of sugar. Health professionals say consuming these drinks on a regular basis has a number of ill health effects.
Dr. Ruchi Kapoor is a cardiologist at the University of Washington and American Heart Association Puget Sound chapter president. She said sugary drinks have more calories and don't make for good lunchbox items.
"They're not as satisfying as calories that you get from actual food, actual meals that you end up consuming at dinner or lunchtime," said Kapoor. "But because of that, you don't get full as quickly and you end up consuming a lot more of this added sugar than you would otherwise."
Kapoor said these drinks can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure and cholesterol. Eventually, she said they can lead to higher risks of stroke and heart attack.
Kapoor added that people consume nearly 20 teaspoons of sugar per day, which is well over twice the recommended amount.
Sugary drinks also increase the risk of cavities.
Dr. Kyle Dosch is dental director of Delta Dental of Washington. He said the risk is greater for children, who have thinner enamel on their teeth.
The beginning of school also means the start of school sports, where people could be drinking sports drinks. Dosch said people typically bathe their teeth in these sugary liquids.
"Say during a basketball game or a baseball game, something where the game is a couple hours in length and you're kind of sipping on this," said Dosch. "There used to be a slogan in the dental-health care world of 'Sip all day, get decay.'"
Kapoor said water is the best alternative for people's health. She said there are natural ways to make water taste like their less healthy counterparts.
"Fruits, like a little bit of berries or some orange slices or lemon slices," said Kapoor. "Or even cucumbers, mint, rosemary. There's a lot of natural flavor out there that you can add to your water without having that downside of the added sugar that companies give you."
get more stories like this via email
A Nevada democracy watchdog group said social media, blogs, websites and hyperpartisan news organizations are all working overtime to spread …
Education officials in Ohio want state leaders to invest in free school meals for all students. Pandemic-era federal waivers enabling schools to …
Agriculture researchers say if the U.S. wants more farmers to adopt climate-friendly practices, they will need to be offered some proven incentives…
As the fall harvest season takes shape in South Dakota, an agricultural specialist said there are many ways motorists and farmers can avoid crashes …
Massachusetts residents are being asked to step up, just as they did five years ago, to help their fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. The …
It's been more than 50 years since the White House held a gathering about the effects of hunger across the nation. In 1969, the White House held its …
By Caleigh Wells for KCRW.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the KCRW-Public News Service Collaboration Wh…
As the midterm elections approach, there are concerns about whether Latino voters will turn out as much as they have in past elections. In New York…