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Tag: flavored milk

Image: Vinni/Flickr

A newly release national survey reveals that Americans drink a boatload of sugary drinks. I know, shocking news. None the less, here are some of the key findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey:

SEX: Males consume more sugar drinks than females.

AGE:  Teenagers and young adults consume more sugar drinks than other age groups.

RACE:  Black children and adolescents consume more sugar drinks in relation to their overall diet than their Mexican-American counterparts. Black and Mexican-American adults consume more than white adults.

INCOME: Low-income persons consume more sugar drinks in relation to their overall diet than those with higher income.

LOCATION: Most of the sugar drinks were consumed away from home are obtained from stores and not restaurants or schools.

The other major finding is that approximately half of the US population consumes sugar drinks on any given day. At first, I was actually surprised as I thought that number seemed low. Then I read the definition of  what was and was not considered a “sugar drink:”

“…sugar drinks include fruit drinks, sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened bottled waters…Sugar drinks do not include diet drinks, 100% fruit juice, sweetened teas, and flavored milks.”

It seems crazy to me that they did not include sweetened tea or flavored milk since both have ADDED sugars. And what about diet drinks? I’ve noticed they are always excluded from studies on regular soda consumption. I want to see data on all forms of soda with any ADDED sweetener. While I’m not a proponent of drinking fruit juice, at least there is no added sugar. If you include diet drinks, flavored milk (can’t you hear Jamie Oliver’s voice now?), etc. how high does that 50% number climb? Are 75% of the US population drinking sweetened beverages daily? Maybe even 90%?
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If you skipped the TV show, Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution this past spring, you missed out. The “Naked Chef” (as he was known on his former cooking show) had a mission to change the way the people eat. Between 2005 and 2008, this British chef began a campaign to ensure UK children were fed healthy and nutritious food in school. The campaign brought public awareness to the issue and prompted the UK government to pledge millions to change school lunch programs.

In December, Jamie was announced as the 2010 TED Prize Winner.

“I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”  – Jaime Oliver

After his success in the UK, he brought his message to the US with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution show on ABC. Through six, 60-minute episodes, he helped open America’s eyes to the world of public school lunch programs, flavored milk, junk food, and the expanding waist bands of millions of American families. I watched every episode in awe that I was actually hearing such an amazing message on prime-time television. Not only did Jamie do a terrific job of pointing out what’s wrong with food these days, but he also offers solutions.  If he can change the mind of stubborn school cafeteria workers, grumpy radio hosts, parents, and politicians in West Virginia, he may actually be able to elicit change across our nation.  Check out this short clip above  which explains his mission.

The show won an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Series and based on recent news reports, has been renewed by ABC for a second season.  It is scheduled to air in Summer or Fall 2011.  Join Jamie’s campaign by clicking on the “Sign the Petition” logo at left.