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Minnesotans Urged to Rethink Their Drink

PHOTO: Minnesotans are being urged to "Rethink Your Drink" with one 12-ounce soda having around 40 grams of sugar, which in itself is more than the daily recommendation on added sugars from the American Heart Association. Photo credit: Shardayyy/Flickr.
PHOTO: Minnesotans are being urged to "Rethink Your Drink" with one 12-ounce soda having around 40 grams of sugar, which in itself is more than the daily recommendation on added sugars from the American Heart Association. Photo credit: Shardayyy/Flickr.
March 23, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. - March is National Nutrition Month, and those across the state wanting to make some positive changes are being told to "Rethink Your Drink."

Donna McDuffie, nutrition coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Health, says far too many children and adults are getting an unhealthy excess of calories through sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas, iced teas, coffees, and energy and sports drinks.

"Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugar in the American diet and that contributes to things like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease," says McDuffie.

Excessive intake of sugary drinks is one of the factors that have led to expanding waistlines in Minnesota over the past few decades, with more than two-thirds of adults and almost one-third of children now overweight or obese.

Healthier drink choices can cut a person's daily intake by hundreds of calories. Those include low-fat milk and in limited amounts diet beverages and fruit juice. McDuffie says best yet is crisp, clear water...which is essential for good health.

"People don't drink enough water, so that's kind of right off the bat," says McDuffie. "If people can increase their consumption of water, it'll displace the consumption of the sugar sweetened beverages."

For those that need a boost of flavor in their drinks, McDuffie notes water can be easily jazzed up with slices of oranges, lemons or even cucumbers.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN