Drinking a 20 Ounce Beverage Daily=26 Extra Pounds a Year

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Want to know the easiest way to drop a few pounds? Stop drinking sugary beverages, according to a recent study.

In a study of 810 adults from across the States, researchers found that liquid calories are a bigger problem than food when it comes to weight gain and weight loss.

Think that one can of cola, vanilla venti latte or fruit punch sports drink everyday isn't going to affect your waistline? Think again, the study found.

According to the MSNBC report:
"Among beverages, sugar-sweetened beverages was the only beverage type significantly associated with weight change at both the 6- and 18-month follow up periods," said Dr. Liwei Chen, lead author of the study and an epidemiologist at Louisiana State University's School of Public Health.

The study also looked at other categories of beverages, too: sugar-sweetened beverages (regular soft drinks, fruit drinks, fruit punch, or high-calorie beverages sweetened with sugar), diet drinks (diet soda and other "diet" drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners), milk (whole milk, 2 percent reduced-fat milk, 1 percent low-fat milk, and skim milk), 100 percent juice (100 percent fruit and vegetable juice), coffee and tea with sugar, coffee and tea without sugar and alcoholic beverages. The results are published in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Even one sugary drink a day can have a long-term effect:
A 20-ounce bottle of cola has 250 calories, almost 68 g sugar, contains high fructose corn syrup and stomach-irritating acids. Sure, it's marketed as 2 1/2 servings of soda, but most people drink an entire bottle.
One of those every day for two weeks is exactly 3,500 calories--the amount you'd need to eat to gain a pound. One 20-ounce soda a day is more than 91,250 calories--more than 26 pounds a year! (At $1.25 each in most vending machines, that one soda a day costs $456.25 a year.)

A 12-ounce can of lemon lime soda has 140 calories and 38 g of sugar. Over a year, that's almost 15 pounds worth of calories!

Adults following a diet of fewer than 2,200 calories should get no more than 200 calories a day from liquids and should consume no more than 32 ounces a day of artificially sweetened and no-calorie beverages, according to experts.

Soda can also increase your likelihood of developing diabetes. Women who drink two or more soft drinks a day risk damaging their kidneys from all the sugar. To reduce those risks, put down the soda (and sugary juice and flavored waters) and reach for the water!

How often do you drink sugary beverages? Are you trying to cut back? If you kicked the soda habit, how did you do it?

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i cut sodas from my intake when i had a stomach ulcer several years ago. I probably buy a bottle every 4 or 5 months, always thinking 'ooh, i haven't had one of these for ages' - to then drink only a few sips and remember why it is i don't drink it! it makes me irritable, gives me a tummy ache and within an hour i'm really hungry! Report
I stopped drinking all soda including diet, I gave up my daily Starbucks, and only drink water or green tea now. That was 2 years a go & I do not see where it mad a difference for me. I have still only lost 50 lbs and that is with also giving up a lot of food that I used to eat. I. Report
I wasn't drinking that much so when I joined SP almost 2 years ago, it wasn't a problem to leave it behind. I drink at least 16 glasses of water a day and of late, am trying to drink at least 1 glass of juice a day. Report
I just quit..My thing coffee (plain) water water water and no more then 2 glasses of tea a day. Report
Just by not drinking soda I have felt healthier! Report
My husband has the problem with fruit juice and soda. That is all he will drink. I have tried to convince him to drink water, but he refuses. He has gained 60 lbs in the last 3 yrs with this and candy! I can drink water all day long and it doesn't bother me, and when I need something sweet I grab a piece of fruit. Report
Does this include smoothies? Report
You know, I've heard it more times than I care to that soda/pop adds weight. Why not doing a study on the effects of coffee/tea with the added sugar/cream/milk/honey for a change and see its results! I have no choice but to drink DIET COKE and water only. With 31 health conditions and the medication I take, I'm allergic to many things. So if a person is limited to DIET POP and water alone (no I can't have milk or even juice), they haven't got much choice, do they! So what about the people, like me, who have no other chocie????? It's ragged on over and over and over like a broken record and I think we get the message, but like anything else, if people are going to drink it, they are going to drink it regardles of what is said, perhaps due to choice or, like myself, because they have no other choices. Report
I drink my coffee black with nothing in it. I may have about a half of a 20oz caffiene free diet pepsi each day and the rest of the time I drink plain tap water. Report
I've only been doing this for a week. I used to drink 2-3 servings a day, but have done very well this past week. I find it most difficult at dinner; I usually want something besides water. Report
I'm just starting out on Sparkpeople and one of my Fast Break goals is to drink my 8 cups of water. Since I've been doing this (only a week so far), my soda cravings have gone down alot! I've been very surprised how quickly this happened. I still have about 1 can of diet soda a day, but before Sparkpeople, I was up to about 32 oz of regular soda a day. Ouch! Report
I've never been a big soda person, though I do get weird cravings from time to time. We never buy sugary drinks to have at home unless someone's sick and it's ginger ale or Gatorade. Don't really drink the fruit juices or anything either. My fiance has more of a problem with it, mostly at work, but he's finding that if he can get over that first craving, he finds it easier to resist. It's terribly hard fighting the first pang, however.

Mostly for me, it's green, black or white tea in the morning and water the rest of the day! Report
I will drink sodas at fast food places or maybe at a party (though it's usually water), but the hubby has at least a can of Coke every day and loves to get the 64 oz fountain drinks at gas stations. He tried switching to diet to cut down on sugar but artificial sweeteners aren't good for you either and the after taste isn't worth it. He doesn't have a weight issue, but maybe someday his metabolism will catch up with him, ha! Chugging all that sugar isn't healthy whether you are overweight or underweight. Report
I don't drink soda or sugary beverages. On occasion i might have a ginger ale, but i try to stick to water or unsweetened ice tea. I have tried to cut off coffee. I have tried to subsitute coffee for tea. So far its been helping. I try to have a cup of green tea everyday. Report
Giving up Pepsi is going to be my number one hurdle. I am fully aware of how bad it is for me, how much better I will feel once I give it up and that water is a better choice. I feel proud of the one can I drank yesterday, instead of the three or four. I know that somewhere down the line I will not miss the daily dose of sugar and I hope that I will be able to enjoy a fountain soda as a treat and not a staple. Report
I quite drinking soda about six years ago when I did a sugar busters plan. Didn't miss it once I quit. I will not touch a diet soda, the artificial sweetners play havoc on a body, not good for ya at all.
I however enjoy coffee with cream and wine. I know I could loose more weight if I totally gave up wine. LOL... but... one vice at a time. Report
I drink maybe 1 pop every other day. Sometimes its a 32 oz size from the fountain. Its diet. I have green tea and coffee and lots of water. Usually the coffee in the morning and I use sun crystals in it. I have cut down on it as well as the tea. Report
I always loved coke, but try to stick with juice, coffee and water now, it helps and now I know I can live without all those wasted calories. Report
I drink Diet Dr. Pepper, decaffeinated iced tea or water. I have tried many times to completely give up my pop but I just can't do it. Report
I have completly stopped consuming soda and I actually feel better. For some reason soad caused me to feel bloated all the time. Now that I drink water all the time I have that bloated feeling anymore. Report
I gave up all carbonated beverages when I had my gastric bypass in November 2007. Prior to that, I was a Classic Coke gal, all the way! I never liked the after-taste of diet soda. I would drink 2-3 20-oz. sodas a day, almost every day. I've gone cold turkey to just plain water (or water with a wedge of lemon, when I'm at a restaurant), my protein shake (made with skim milk), and sugar-free Popsicles (they count as a "liquid" for bypass patients). I don't do juice (sugar content is too high), but my kids drink 100% juice, and only for breakfast (4-8 oz., at most, per day). My husband loves Low-Sodium V8, and drinks that a few times a week. The kids do still have soda when we dine out, but not every time. Though it's just as high in sugar as soda, they do like lemonade or flavored lemonades with their meals. Report
Before starting on Sparkpeople, I probably drank the equivalent of two 2-liter bottles of soda per day on top of my morning coffee. For the last three and a half weeks, I've limited myself to one caffeinated beverage a day (I've slipped up and had a second on a couple of rough days). I am not only feeling better, but I'm sleeping so much better at night. And I'm drinking more water, which is helping me lose more weight. Report
Sodas have never been much of a problem for me since I don't tolerate the bubbles well. I have one, bubbles mostly stirred out, about once a month. Report
My main problem is fast food...the only time I drink beverages is when I eat out a fastfood restaurants. Report
I used to be a soda drinker! I quit the habit for good in October and never looked back! I drink hot green tea's or the cold green tea's and water...Even when going out to dinner I drink water! Between SP and my doctor I learned not to drink my calories and still feel hungry!
Great Article! Report
I used to drink soda, then went to diet soda. But starting the new year I cut out soda. I only had about 2 since then and I don't care for the taste any more. I drink 2 cups of coffee in morning and rest of day I have water or green tea. Report
Wow! I was just telling my 15 year old niece basically this same thing. Why drink your calories? It's so easy to drink the whole 2 1/2 servings in one shot. I went from regular soda to diet/lite drinks when I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2002. I always hated the after taste but I hated being out of control with my blood sugar even more. Last year I cut out diet soda - partly to save money but also b/c I know it's not what my body needs - too many chemicals in so many things. I love water and will add diet powder mixes once a week or so. Report
I'm addicted to soda. So while my husband kicks smoking, I'm kicking cola. Report
I will give up soda for a few weeks and on occasion a few months but the moment that stress level starts to rise I will crack one open. Soda is my comfort food, unfortunately. With the assistance of the will power article I read yesterday hopefully I can overcome this desire and focus on what is right for my body. :) Report
I'm guilty! I have been know to say that drinking dr. pepper is my only vice when it comes to getting healthy. I have to rethink what that means to me. I am going to try to limit it to once every few days instead of every day. I'll focus on my water. Report
I drink fruit juice, but I try to make sure it's 100% juice and read the ingredients. I'm a big fan of v8 splash and won't give that up for anything. soda... I usually only have when I drink alcohol, neither of which I do on a regular basis. plus, I can't drink it straight, so I'm always turned off by the fact I have to take a break to 'let the air out'. Report
I didn't really drink pop much, but I drank juice with every meal. I cut out doing that a long time ago. Then I switched to Crystal Light. I use twice as much water as recommended because I like the taste better that way. And I do drink about 32 ounces of that a day. It's mostly water, so it helps flush me out. =) Report
When I developed an ulcer I quit drinking Mountain Dew and now rarely drink soda except occasionally a Diet Pepsi or my Diet Root Beer. No caffeine after 8 pm if I can help it. Report
I don't drink and haven't drank it regularly for several years. I do still enjoy sweetened iced tea, but have recently (in the last couple months) cut back tremendously. Report
I use to drink 40-48 oz of Pepsi a day. This year I have stopped. I drink water now. I know it is alot better for me. Report
I was a regular soda drinker until 6 years ago when I switched to diet soda.

I used to drink 4-5 diet cokes a day. Now I dont even drink that many in a week. It makes me feel better hydrated and with more energy.

I limit myself to 1 cup of coffee a day to get the day started. After that, I only drink water and occasionally some Crystal Light for flavor. Report
I use to live on soda like 2 big bottles a day and sometimes even more. Then when I decided to lose weight I started drinking water instead, and I couldn't believe the difference in my sugar content daily.Just that change helped me too lose almost a hundred pounds. Report
I LOVE COKE and use to drink it every day by the 2 Liter bottles full. I stopped nearly 2 years ago. At one time my Triglycerdies were at 1200. All the doctor said was "Well, when you live on sugar, that is to be expected." They are down to about 350 now which is still high.
I quit by mixing regular Coke with 1/2 diet (I hate diet) and then I cut back slowly. But, now I'm "off" of it and I don't crave it like I did. Report
Before Sparks i used to drink 1 diet soda a day; but now . . . none!! i already knew none of it was good for you. Report
I was quite the pop drinker.. I would drink 2 to 3 20 oz pops a day.. I quit drinking pop and i lost 20+ that was over 3 years ago now.. I will drink some now and again but I don't like the way that i feel after i do drink any.. I love water.. Report
We were never a soda drinking family to be examples to our little chidlren and to refrain them from drinking! For some reason I never could handle caffine as I went into my 30's from shaky hands, nervous feeling, insomnia, etc. Having fainted once after drinking coffee at a diner, I stopped drinking coffee although, still love, absolutely love coffee having been brought up on coffee in my child hood in South Western India. I still love the aroma!

Later on, having started working fro Coca-Cola, loved diet coke but got dizzy and was afraid of caffiene so, switched to Fresca! So Delicious! My dizzy feeling never went away. I blamed the sugar substitute and switched to Dasani water which was a new product at Coke. Loved it - no adverse effects and it stuck wth me! Still love my dasani but, drink PUR out of tap for I want to live a green life without tossing way too many PET's into land fill. Report
I used to have to have a soft drink with my mid day and evening meal but now water is my beverage of choice. I don't even drink coffee anymore. I replaced it with organic teas of different types. Good article. Report
When I started this a little over a year ago, I was drinking about 3 or 4 20oz soda's a day. Have only had 5 or 6 in the last 15 months. I can tell a big difference in how I feel and act. Report
Interesting! I had just finished a 12 oz Pepsi before reading this! I used to drink 8-12 ounces of sugary drinks every other day. Now I am down to once every week or so except when we have pizza and that requires a Pepsi! I no longer order sodas when eating out, even at fast food places (most carry low-fat milk). I tried diet drinks and decided I would rather drink water! Report
This was a great, eye opening article. I know that soda is bad for you for a number of health reasons, and I drink very little of it, but when you add in all of the other sugary drinks and attach pounds to them, the magnitude of this article is HUGE !! Thanks for the heads up ! good article !! Report
I think its been over a year since I drank a soda, and never really liked it much. I prefer juice, tea or my coffee and water. I dislike diet drinks as the taste is usually off and it is not food to drink diet beverages and use regular sugar in other stuff. Scary how much weight a can of coke can cause. Report
This was a great article. I have a drinking problem with diet pepsi and it would be nice to have an article on how the diet drinks affect the body. Report
I've never really been a soda drinker anyway so it was easy not to drink them. I drink sugar free what ever. I mostly drink plain water & black coffee. Although I used to drink carbonated water until I read that the phosphates in carbonated drinks leech out calcium from your - BONES ! I stopped right away. Along with exercising my bone density has gone up. My Dr. say GOOD JOB ! For me all the more reason to stay off of soda & all carbonated drinks ! Report
Good information. Thanks for the article.
So... bottom line, if you want to drink it, log it. We can keep any of these habits, the key is to be honest and stay on track.
You can chose to eat or drink anything.
Just- keep track.
If you are working out hard, keep fueling well. We want these engines running on high octane for the best mileage and velocity!
Keep on tracking!
down 100, 50 to go.... Report
I used to be a "Cokaholic", regular, not diet. I finally got over my distaste of diet Coke & drank that. In the past year, I've switched to mostly water or tea. No more sodas! And the funny thing is.... I don't miss it one bit! Report
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