Chew on This

When you down a can of soda, you’ve blown your daily sugar intake — you’re still drinking?

One 12-ounce can of soda has eight teaspoons of sugar. For the entire day, nutrition experts say you should consume no more than seven teaspoons of sugar. So, by drinking one can of soda, you have blown your entire sugar intake for the day, and more.
One 12-ounce can of soda has eight teaspoons of sugar. For the entire day, nutrition experts say you should consume no more than seven teaspoons of sugar. So, by drinking one can of soda, you have blown your entire sugar intake for the day, and more. Getty Images

Many events pass through my email but one titled “The Better Food Movement” caught my eye.

Essentially, this is a collaborative of food-interested professionals who are working to make healthier food more available. I attended the initial conference last month at Miami Dade College. Food policy was the topic.

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University and champion in the field of food politics, was the keynote speaker. One point she made: Food companies deduct the money they spend on advertising from their overall corporate taxes.

The advertising budget for high-sugar, low-nutrient foods is considerable. Coca-Cola spends $254 million a year just on Coke. Most soda drinkers do not need convincing. I wish a fraction of that money could go to promoting vegetables and fruits. (You can follow Nestle’s postings at www.foodpolitics.com.)

Next up was Sara Soka, who discussed the soda-tax movement in Berkeley, California. The tax is 1 cent per ounce. The purpose is to discourage sugary drink intake and improve health. The tax money goes back to the community. Other cities with a soda tax are Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Oakland and Cook County, Illinois. Mexico, France, Hungary, Ireland and the United Kingdom have also initiated a tax on heavily sugared beverages. Mexico’s tax started in 2014 and in the first year, sugary beverage consumption fell, with the largest decrease among low-income Mexicans.

Food experts recommend that an adult consume no more than seven teaspoons of added sugar a day. That’s for the entire day.

Soda?

A 12-ounce can of soda has eight teaspoons of sugar — already beyond your daily intake.

So, why are you still drinking that soda?

Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian on the faculty of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Follow her on Twitter @sheahrarback.

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