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5 Things: Shocking Facts About Sugar in Soft Drinks and Fast Food

And the little changes you can make for long-term health.

Credit: Morguefile
Credit: Morguefile
Originally posted by Hunt Archbold

Do you know how many pounds of sugar your family can avoid consuming if you cut out one sugary beverage a day? How about how many calories you can cut if you replace that morning glass of juice with a piece of fruit? You may be surprised. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Strong4Lifeshares how five small food substitutions can mean big changes for your family's long-term health.

1. By eliminating one 20 ouncesoda a day, your child will avoid consuming almost 61 pounds of sugar over a year.

  • Quick Tip: If your family loves soda or other sweetened drinks, try this step-down method: If you typically order/pour large drinks, switch to medium or small. Rather than refills, get water for round two.

2. Selecting a small fry instead of a large fry once a week will cut around 14,040 calories over a year.

  • Quick Tip: If fries are a must for your family, order a large and share.

3. Choosing fruit as your child's side instead of a large fry once per week will cut out about 25,220 calories a year.

  • Quick Tip: Most fast food restaurants now offer a few healthy options, such as apple slices and side salads.

4. Once a week, replace the soft drink that comes with your child's 'value meal' with water and avoid almost 13,260 teaspoons of sugar a year. 

  • Quick Tip: When ordering drinks, review only the healthier options and let your kids choose between them. For example, ask your child, 'Do you want milk or water? vs. 'What do you want to drink?'

5. Three times per week, swap that morning glass of fruit juicewith a fresh piece of fruit and avoid consuming around 16,575 teaspoons of sugar a year.

  • Quick Tip: Frozen fruit is just as healthy as fresh and in some cases may be cheaper.

Making healthy substitutions on a daily basis will improve your family's health. Remember you are your child's biggest role model, so if you expect them to make healthy substitutions, you need to lead by example. Visit Strong4Life to see their new "Rewind the Future" video and small steps you can take today to keep your family happy and healthy.

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