According to Marion Nestle's blog today, a new study from U. North Carolina measures soft drink consumption in the U.S. population from 1965 to 2002. The increase is 21%–and a whopping 222 calories per day, close to the reported increase in calorie intake from all sources over that time period. The authors count all sweetened drinks: traditional colas, juice drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and vitamin waters.
You will also find a bunch of worldwide scientific studies on www.sciencedaily.com showing an overwhelming correlation between intake of sugars from beverages -in particular fructose, which is half of sugar and more than half of high fructose corn syrup- and obesity.
Meanwhile, we just stumbled on this press release from the Energy drink industry, which proudly announces that Energy drinks are expected to grow at an annual rate of 12% -Sales expected to exceed $9 Billion by 2011. Energy drinks are the latest offspring of the sweetened beverages category. Boasting all sorts of claims, unfortunately not regulated by FDA, they tend to make us forget the sugars that go with the other ingredients -safe or not.
Here is a quite comprehensive list of sugar content in soft drinks and energy drinks. Enjoy, and keep in mind that the maximum daily recommended allowance for added sugars is 40g...
This UCSF Children's hospital webpage helps you understand the correlation, and pinpoints which types of drinks to avoid -and they include 100% fruit juices in the list- and which ones to choose.
Another resource is this presentation from CDC, aptly named Rethink Your Drink.
Meanwhile, let's keep in mind that most of these sweetened beverages are still allowed to be sold in schools. Even Paul Harkins's proposed amendment to the Farm Bill plans to keep quite a few offenders available in schools... Drink for thought.