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Colorado taking steps against sugary drinks
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By Joseph Rios

In Colorado, it is estimated that the average adult consumes 58,600 calories from sugary drinks each year according to the data from the state.

That number is even higher for high school students in the state who on average consume over 108,200 calories from sugary drinks every year. That number is 54 days worth of calories for an average teenager. Hispanics in Colorado are even more likely to consume sugary drinks daily in comparison to white and Asian or pacific islander Coloradans.

Income also plays a factor in how much sugary drinks one consumes, according to the state. Adults who earn less than $25,000 a year are more likely to consume sugary drinks daily, 44.7 percent to 26.4 percent in comparison to those who earn at least $50,000. Additionally, those who are less educated are more likely to drink sugary drinks. Colorado estimates that 51.4 percent of adults who have less than a high school diploma or GED drink sugary drinks daily in comparison to 26.8 percent of adults who went to college for some sort of period during the lives.

Sugary drinks make up the largest portion of added sugar in Americanís diets. Consuming sugary drinks is linked to poor health conditions like poor nutrition, weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and heart attacks, poor oral health like tooth decay and gout.

Colorado has taken some steps to restrict sugary drink offers because of some of the health conditions the beverages can cause. In Aurora, Aurora City Council voted in favor of requiring restaurants in the city to make a non-sugary drink like water or milk the default option in childrenís meals. The ordinance that requires milk or water to be the default option in childrenís meals reads that sugary drinks are the single leading source of added sugars in the American diet and that nearly half of children ages 2 to 5 have at least one sugary beverage a day.

In Boulder, residents adopted the Sugary Sweetened Beverage Product Distribution Tax in November of 2016 that places a two cents per ounce excise tax on the distribution of beverages with added sugar and other sweeteners. The tax was estimated to generate around $1.5 million, money that is used to improve health equity in Boulder through the support of health promotion, general wellness programs and chronic disease prevention, according to the city of Boulder.

The toothpaste producer Colgate offers the following tips to cut sugary drinks out of your life:

Rather than trying to completely cut sugary drinks out of your life, set small goals.

Flavor water with healthy options like cucumbers, lemon slices and more.

Switch to healthier beverages like green tea which can give you your caffeine fix.





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