Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–May 22, 2007–With nearly two out of three Americans overweight or obese, one of the keys to a healthier weight could be “rethinking what you drink each day” says Dr. Aliza Lifshitz in a video news release launched today which can be viewed at http://www.2424leche.com. This message is key for Hispanics since according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1/3 of Hispanics in the United States are currently obese. Obesity leads to many health related problems that Hispanics are already predisposed to such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
A new comprehensive analysis of U.S. beverage consumption called What America Drinks(1) suggests that making healthier beverage choices could play a key role in the battle against Americans’ widening waistlines. While people trying to maintain a healthy weight may tend to focus on what’s filling their plates, the new study suggests that it’s time for Americans to take a closer look at what’s in our glasses, cups, cans and car drink holders, too.
The “What America Drinks” report states that Americans (including Hispanics) consume more than 500 calories through beverages daily. According to the November 2006 Multicultural Marketing Study OmniPLUS, conducted by Yankelovich, 64% of all Hispanics think that they consume less than 300 calories through their drinks in any given day.
This in-depth analysis of what we’ve been drinking revealed that beverages supplied nearly a quarter (22%) of our total calories – with nutrient-poor, sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, fruit-flavored drinks, and presweetened teas, as the largest contributor.
Doctor Aliza Lifshitz, one of Hispanic’s favorite doctor and a nationally recognized medical expert remarks: “Given the high index of obesity among Hispanics, it is important that Hispanic moms focus on demonstrating healthy behaviors to their children. I would advise them to role model healthy habits such as drinking 3 glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk everyday, eating more vegetables, whole grain foods, and to exercise. Their example will make their kids follow suit and do the same and that is the point”, she concluded.
Awash in Nutrient-Poor Sugary Sodas
Experts say that nutrient-poor, sweetened beverages are a problem not only because of the empty calories they contain, but because they can push nutrient-rich beverages out of the diet – including lowfat and fat free milk.
U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 24 ounces of lowfat or fat free milk or milk products each day for both teens and adults. However, Hispanics have a misconception about the nutritional value of lowfat milk. According to the referenced Yankelovich Study, 42% of Hispanics believe that lowfat/fat free milk does not have the same nutritional value as whole milk. According to Dr. Aliza “low fat milk contains the same nutrients as whole milk.” “It is the ultimate health beverage since it contains nine essential vitamins and nutrients,” she added.
Some studies have shown that avoiding milk during childhood may increase the risk of being overweight during adolescence. “We’re alarmed that soft drinks may potentially take the place of milk in the diets of children and teenagers,” said Jay E. Berkelhamer, MD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “This is not only a concern related to obesity; but too many soft drinks instead of calcium-rich milk decreases adolescents’ ability to gain optimal bone mass, and that could increase the risk of fractures later in life.” Only 16% of the Hispanic women in the referenced Yankelovich Study were concerned with the lack of nutrients in the soft drinks they consume.
Dr. Aliza advises that replacing sugary drinks with milk, eating healthy and being active are things that you can do to help your family stay healthy, strong, and in shape.
For more information about the Think About Your Drink campaign and a copy of the What America Drinks report in Spanish, visit http://www.2424leche.com.
The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation’s milk processors, who are committed to increasing fluid milk consumption. The MilkPEP Board runs the national Milk Mustache “got milk?” Campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers about the health benefits of milk. For more information, go to http://www.thinkaboutyourdrink.com. The tagline “got milk?”(R) was created for the California Milk Processor Board by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and is licensed by the national milk processor and dairy producer groups.
(1) What America Drinks is based on a comprehensive study conducted by ENVIRON International Corporation. The report analyzed data from more than 10,000 Americans ages 4 and older who participated in the government’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 and provided reasonable dietary reports of food/beverage intakes.
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