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Nearly two-thirds of American Kids ages two to 19 drink at least one sweetened beverage everyday, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Sugary drinks—including regular soda, fruit juice, sports and energy drinks and sweetened coffee and tea—account for more than seven percent of total calorie intake for kids, according to a national survey of dietary habits from 2011 to 2014.
Consumption of these drinks is highest among 12- to 19-year-olds, though it’s unknown why. Consuming sugary drinks is associated with weight gain, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay and heart disease.
Try one of these strategies to wean your kids off the sweet stuff:
• Limit them to one sugary beverage a day. Give that two weeks, then reduce to three a week.
• Try swapping out soda for sparkling water mixed with unsweetened fruit juice.
• Make homemade smoothies using a mix of fruits and vegetables so you can keep sugar in check.