HealthDay News — Nearly two-thirds of boys and girls ages 2 to 19 in the United States drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily, according to a January data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

The new report is based on results of the 2011 to 2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The sugar-sweetened beverages included in the study were regular soda; fruit drinks (including sweetened bottled water and fruit juices and nectars with added sugars); sports drinks; energy drinks; sweetened coffee and tea; horchata, and sugar cane drinks. The researchers did not include diet drinks, 100% fruit juices, beverages with sweetener added by the consumer, alcohol, or flavored milk. 

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The research indicates that sweetened beverages account for 7.3% of total calorie intake for children. Boys are more likely than girls to consume one or more of these drinks a day – 64.5 versus 61.3%. On average, boys consume 164 calories a day from sugar-sweetened liquids, compared to 121 calories for girls. Among preschool boys and girls, sweet drinks account for about 4% of total daily calories. By the teen years, they are responsible for almost 10% of daily calories. The researchers also found racial and ethnic differences, with Asians drinking fewer sugary drinks compared to other groups.

In another report from the NCHS, researchers looked at sugary beverage consumption among adults for 2011 to 2014. About half drank at least one of the drinks daily, with men more likely than women to do so.

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