Menu alert: U.S. restaurants are offering more sugary drinks

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Published: October, 2019

Sugary drinks are becoming more plentiful at large restaurant chains, and some drinks are getting sweeter. That's according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Harvard researchers analyzed the beverage offerings of 63 fast-food, fast-casual, or full-service restaurant chains from 2012 to 2017. Over that period, the number of sugary beverages available at the restaurants increased by 82%. Among newly introduced sugary beverages such as sodas, fruit drinks, and sports drinks, from 2012 to 2016 the number of calories per drink increased by about 50, and the average amount of sugar per drink reached a whopping 63 grams. Newly introduced sweetened teas roughly doubled in sugar and calories from 2012 to 2016, jumping from an average of about 140 calories per drink to about 300, and from 25 grams of sugar to 56. But remember: the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams per day for men. If you want to splurge on a sugary drink, try not to consume all of it, or chose a lower-sugar option.

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