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You Are What You Drink

How What You Drink Influences the Health of You and Your Family

By Michael Sena, C.F.S. with Kirsten Straughan, R.D., L.D., and Tom Sattler, Ed.D.

Updated June 10, 2014

Authors of Lean Mom, Fit Family: The 6-Week Plan for a Slimmer You and a Healthier Family

It may seem as if it will be an uphill battle to get your family to switch from heavily advertised sodas, energy drinks, and sugary juice drinks to healthier beverages such as water and milk. Believe me, though, it's a battle worth fighting.

The high intake of these sugar-sweetened drinks has been a driving force behind the high incidence of obesity among our children. Did you know that one 12-ounce can of soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar? I'm sure that none of you would knowingly give that much sugar to your kids with their meals or snacks.

Soda drinkers are also more likely to have a lower intake of important nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, magnesium, and calcium. The decrease in calcium can result in reduced bone mass, which can contribute to broken bones in children and can possibly lead to osteoporosis later in life.

There are two ways to win this battle. One is to make sure everyone understands just how dangerous sugary drinks can be. Let your kids and spouse know that these drinks are leading culprits in weight gain and dental problems and how the lack of dairy-based drinks can lead to broken bones.

The other necessary tactic is to provide healthier choices that your family will learn to love.

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