American Teenagers Love Calories in a Can

American Teenagers Love Calories in a Can1

Two-thirds of Americans are overweight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently conducted a survey to find the culprit2 food that most obese Americans consume. Instead of finding a food, they found a drink—soda3.
Sugary drinks such as Coke, Pepsi, Gatorade, energy drinks, and flavored water have been found as the link to obesity. Teenage boys aged 12 to 19 consume an average of 273 calories a day from sugar-sweetened drinks, while the typical teenage girl only consumes 94 calories, men between the ages of 20 and 39 consume an average of 252 calories from sugary drinks. This just shows that young men continue to drink a lot of soda even after their school years.

Twenty-six million Americans also have Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to poor diet and a lack of exercise. The CDC claims that the high consumption of sugary drinks is a major factor in the rise of this disease. Take a look at yourself and your drinking habits. Are you similar to or different from American teens? Take the quiz and find out.

Take the Soda Quiz:

Are you drinking too much sugary drinks?
Circle the answer that best describes your habits and calculate your total points at the end.

1. What do you drink every day?

a. water (0point)
b. coffee (1point)
c. soda (3points)
d. juice (2points)

2. Do you drink flavored water?

a. No, I just drink regular bottled water or mineral water. (0point)
b. I only drink flavored water. It tastes better. (3points)
c. I don’t drink water at all. (4points)

3. How many cans of soda do you drink a week?
a. at least seven (3points)
b. Maybe five (2points)
c. three or less (1point)
d. I don’t drink soda very much. I only drink it when there isn’t another
option. (0point)

4. Do you think there is anything wrong with getting 273 calories daily from soda?
a. Not as long as you exercise a lot. (3points)
b. 273 calories aren’t that many. I mean, how much is in ice cream? (4points)
c. Why are calories the culprit? What about caffeine? (2points)
d. Yes! That is 273 empty calories with absolutely no healthy vitamins or minerals! (0point)

Just call me “Pop” (10-14 points)
You drink so much soda you may just POP4 from all the carbonation! You like the fizz5 and you don’t understand what the big deal is. Your motto: No one ever died from a Coke, man.

Occasional Cass (5-9points)
You don’t drink soda every day, but you do like it. You have the occasional coke while out with friends or in a restaurant. Your Motto: Moderation6 is the key to happiness.

Natural Nancy (0-4points)
Soda was made in a factory. It has absolutely no nutritional value! Why can’t other people see that? Your Motto: Why would you ingest something created in a lab?

Think, Connect, and Write
Choose two of the following activities to complete.

  1. Are sodas available for purchasing7 at your school? What are some of the potential problems and benefits at having soda machines in school cafeterias?
  2. American government officials have discussed adding additional taxes for the purchase of sodas just like they have with cigarettes. They hope that a tax would prevent people from drinking too much soda. Do you think this is a good or bad idea? Why? Make your argument.
  3. Why do people like soda so much? What is your favorite soda, and why do you like it? Make sure to include a lot of details in your response.
  4. Why do you think young men drink more soda than young women? Are women usually more health conscious? Include several details on how men and women are similar and different in your response.
  5. What do you know about diabetes? How is it treated? How is life living with diabetes?

Lindsey Halas

Slovnik 1plechovka; 2/kalprit/ vinník – viník; 3limonáda, sladený – slazený nápoj; 4explodovať – explodovat; 5šumivý nápoj; 6umiernenosť – umírněnost; 7zakúpenie – zakoupení