This one should be a no-brainer, since hundreds of studies link soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and aggressive behavior in children. And yet, research shows that a vast majority of American kids are still chugging these drinks. A 20-ounce bottle of soda can have over 60 grams of sugar—some four times what kids should get in an entire day. Syrupy fountain drinks can contain even more. “Children just don’t have much room in their diets for beverages that supply a ton of empty calories and no nutrients,” says Joan Salge Blake, RD, a health sciences professor at Boston University.
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