Recent announcements by US government agencies and leading healthcare researchers highlight the important role that proper hydration plays in a healthy lifestyle. One-third of American adults are now obese, and over the last 30 years, children's obesity rates have climbed from five to 17%.
Drinking lower or zero-calorie beverages, such as water, instead of sugary beverages is regularly cited as a key component of a more healthy lifestyle. According to the International Bottled Water Association: “Now, more than ever, picking bottled water is a smart decision and a healthy choice when it comes to beverage options.”
In a new study, released in May 2012, the Institute of Medicine (IoM) indicated that by 2030, obesity could affect 42% of Americans. According to the IoM report Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation, the United States’ progress in combating its obesity epidemic has been to slow and ineffective. Released at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Weight of the Nation conference, the report stated that America’s obesity problem continues to erode productivity and cause millions to suffer from potentially debilitating and deadly chronic illnesses.
“Solving this complex, stubborn problem requires a comprehensive set of solutions that work together to spur across-the-board societal change,” stated the committee that wrote the report. The report's recommendations aim to support individuals' and families' abilities to make healthy choices – such as drinking water – where they work, learn, eat, and play.
In April 2012, researchers from Cornell University released a report, The Medical Care Costs of Obesity, that found the cost of medical care related to obesity in the United States is $109 billion a year. As the report, noted, that amount represents 20.6% of total US health care spending – twice as much as previously reported.
Additionally, another study published in April 2012, in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that in order to meet the US Department of Health and Human Services’ goal of reducing the childhood obesity rate to 14.6% by 2020, children aged two to 19 years would need to eliminate an average of 64 calories a day. Without this reduction in caloric intake, the average child or teen would be nearly four pounds heavier in 2020 than a child of the same age in 2007. In addition, the study projects that more than 20% of kids would be obese, up from the current 16.9%. The study’s authors specifically recommend, “replacing all sugar-sweetened beverages in school with water and not consuming any additional sugary beverages outside of school.”
According to the 2010 dietary guidelines developed by the US Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, reducing the consumption of added sugars will lower the calorie content of a person’s diet, without compromising its nutrient adequacy. The guidelines recommend that consumers cut back on foods and drinks with added sugars or caloric sweeteners, such as sugar-sweetened beverages. They also suggest that consumers drink few or no regular sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks.
The recommended healthier option is to choose water, fat-free milk, 100% fruit juice, or unsweetened tea or coffee rather than sugar-sweetened drinks.
- Britvic to close factories
- Frusions from Rocks Drinks
- Geoff Collins on Clasado's range of prebiotic products