You are also what you drink

From the “Beverage Guidance System,” which was produced by a panel of experts.

I’ll have to keep this in mind next time I have a beer…

The panel, led by Barry M. Popkin, a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina, was distressed by the burgeoning waistlines of Americans and the contribution that popular beverages make to weight problems.

At the head of the list of preferred drinks is — you guessed it — water. No calories, no hazards, only benefits.

There has been a huge increase in sugar-sweetened drinks in recent decades, primarily at the expense of milk, which has clear nutritional benefits. The calories from these sugary drinks account for half the rise in caloric intake by Americans since the late 1970s.

Add the current passion for smoothies and sweetened coffee drinks (there are 240 calories in a 16-ounce Starbucks Caffe Mocha without the whipped cream), and you can see why people are drinking themselves into XXXL sizes.

Caffeine itself is not thought to be a problem for health or water balance in the body, up to 400 milligrams a day (the amount in about 30 ounces of brewed coffee).

Alcohol is a classic case of “a little may be better than none but a lot is worse than a little.” Moderate consumption — one drink a day for women and two for men — has been linked in many large, long-term studies to lower mortality rates…

Read the entire New York Times article.

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