I Know Food Can be Fattening, But What About the Stuff I Drink

Too many calories is fattening. You can get too many calories from the food you eat and the things you drink.

There seems to be more confusion about beverages and their effect on body weight than food. That’s not to say that food and body weight isn’t confusing, because it is. Beverages and body weight are far more confusing because we’re just starting to understand how the body processes beverages.

Research suggests that calories from liquids are not recognized the same way the body recognizes calories from solid foods. That could mean that many hundreds of calories could be consumed without the feeling of fullness and satisfaction that comes from those calories.

Sugary drinks, especially those sweetened with high fructose corn syrup are believed to be a major cause of obesity.

According to the American Beverage Association that is absolutely untrue.

In 2008, the American Medical Association issued a statement at its annual meeting saying that HFCS is not a unique contributor to obesity. This is an important affirmation that undermines the inaccurate claims of critics of this sweetener. The AMA said it reached its conclusion after studying current research.

“We know that HFCS affects the body in a manner similar to table sugar. Many people confuse HFCS with fructose because of the similar names, but three new scientific studies and one new scientific reviewshow that HFCS acts no differently than table sugar in the human body. Here’s why:  Most types of HFCS contain about 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose, while table sugar is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose, so they’re fundamentally very similar. The name “high” fructose corn syrup is really a misnomer.” – American Medical Association

You might be skeptical of the source of the denial of the soft drink, high fructose corn syrup, obesity link.

It’s easy to say, “well, sure, the American Beverage Association is not going to tell the truth because it would reduce the sales of soft drinks. In this case they’re just the messenger, the message originated with the American Medical Association.

I understand the skepticism readers may have, but I manage a business and I feel strongly that lying to customers reduces sales faster than anything. A lie may work for the short term to boost sales but people have a way of finding they’ve been the victim of a lie. They don’t like it and they stop buying products from companies that lie to them, and they are sure to tell all their friends.

I don’t think the American Beverage Association is lying because lying is bad for business. There are plenty of people who got fat and stay fat or keep getting fatter and don’t drink hardly any, maybe even no, sugary beverages whatsoever. I was one of those people and I can say with 100% accuracy and confidence that sugary drinks didn’t have the slightest effect on my weight.

If you walk into a convenience store one whole wall is filled with coolers loaded with beverages. Clearly drinks can be a major source of calories and if we’re not paying attention they can contribute to weight gain. Some of the things we drink because we think they’re healthy may supply more calories that nutrients. What should we drink and why?

I know that people want to know more about what they’re drinking, what are good choices and what are even better choices so I invited Jim Gottwald, Wellness Coordinator for Northern New England Coca Cola Bottling Company to share information about the various drinks available and how they fit into a diet that promotes health and healthy weight.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

What’s in Your Drink?
Free presentation for Weight Watchers members, families, friends, guests and the public.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 6pm at the Weight Watchers South Portland Center, 241 Running Hill Road, South Portland Maine
Join Us! * Free Samples!



Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.