The link between sugary drinks and genetic obesity

By Betty Murray

Sugary drinks may increase the effect of genes that predispose people to obesity, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Sugary drinks, including sports drinks and soda are directly related to increased weight gain. They are the largest single food source of calories in the country.

According to an article on and a report released by the National Center for Health Statistics, half of Americans over the age of two consume soda and other sugary drinks every day. Sugary drinks included in the report were sodas, sweetened waters, energy drinks and fruit drinks. That number did not include diet sodas, sweet teas, flavored milk and 100% fruit juices.

Sugary foods and drinks can be diet disasters, and can lead to weight gain and even type 2 Diabetes. One of the most serious dangers of soda is that it eliminates the triggers that make people feel full and stop eating. Additionally, many people forget to count calories found in their beverage choices in their daily caloric intake. Sugary drinks can account for hundreds of unnecessary and unsatisfying calories each day. If you’re looking to lose weight or cut sugar out of your diet, start by eliminating sugary drinks.

The daily recommended sugar intake for women is 20 grams, and yet one 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola classic contains 39 grams of sugar. Nestea Sweetened Lemon iced tea contains 55 grams of sugar in a 20-ounce drink, and one Redbull energy drink contains 54 grams of sugar. Sugar means added calories, and added calories means unnecessary weight gain.

Click here to see sugar content of other drinks.

Unless you plan to drink only water, you will get at least a portion of your daily calories from what you drink. Choose beverages that are nutritious and beneficial to your health. One 8-ounce glass of orange juice contains about 110 calories, but it also contains vitamin C and other important vitamins and minerals. An 8-ounce glass of 2-percent reduced fat milk contains 130 calories, but can be an important source of calcium, vitamin D, protein and other minerals. A 4-ouce glass of red wine adds about 84 calories to your meal, but can also aid in keeping your heart and arteries healthy.

There are a number of healthy benefits that can result from cutting sugar out of your diet. However, eliminating all sugar can be difficult. Start by making a change in the types of drinks you consume.

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.


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