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Where are the healthy drinks for kids?

BY JESSICA EVANS

According to the CDC, six out of ten American children drink a sugar-sweetened beverage on a given day. While that’s cringe-worthy enough, that’s not all.

Roughly 30% of them drink two or more daily!

The recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics focused on youth behavior between 2011 and 2014 and shows that adolescents in the US get a whopping 20 percent of their total daily energy intake from added sugars. Half of that sugar comes from sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks.

Additionally, a 2015 study by the United Kingdom’s Cancer Research UK found that in one year, UK teens take in enough sugar to fill a bathtub with cola. They found that across all age groups, children are consuming far too much sugar in drinks.

Currently, the American Heart Association recommends that children should consume only about 6 teaspoons (about 100 calories) of added sugar a day and should limit their intake of sugary drinks to 8 ounces weekly. That’s certainly a far cry from what’s happening, so, is there hope?

To help raise awareness, a Maryland-based public health nonprofit started bringing fact-based marketing to youth and their parents. “Howard County Unsweetened” is a youth-focused, anti-sugar project, similar to the "truth" campaign against the tobacco industry. Their three-year effort radically altered consumer behavior and sugary drink sales plummeted in their county. They are now taking their message across the county.

Hammer Nutrition has always recommended strictly limiting and/or removing sugar-sweetened beverages from one’s diet completely. Switching to HEED or Hammer Gel for responsible glucose intake provides your body with sustained energy without refined or added simple sugars.

Founder Brian Frank says, “We are winning the war on sugar, but it hasn’t been easy and it’s not over. We have served endurance athletes for the last thirty years and we are here to help the next generation make healthy choices as well.” We’ll drink to that!