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Britain consume more fizzy than most of Europe, but here's the best way to cut down

The UK has one of the highest consumption rates of fizzy drinks in Europe, according to new data.

The average Brit drinks the equivalent of 4.4 servings of fizzy pop per week, just shy of the U.S., whose citizens drink 4.9 servings per week.

In comparison, Swedish residents consume just 2.2 servings of soft drinks per week, while Spain, the Netherlands, France and Germany drink 3.1, 2.9, 2.8 and 2.7 servings respectively.

The only European country to drink more soft drinks than the UK is Belgium, whose residents consume an average of 5.2 fizzy drinks per week.

The data, from Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, US, was discovered using the Global Dietary Database for the years 1990, 2005, and 2018.

However, the world’s most prolific fizzy drink consumers were found in Rwanda, with an average of 34.2 servings per week.

And India, China and Bangladesh were deemed the world’s lowest consumers on 0.2 servings per week.

"Soda can reach the farthest places, and in countries where clean water is less accessible, these beverages might be the only thing available to drink at times," study author Laura Lara-Castor said.

"These results suggest that more work is needed, especially around successful interventions such as marketing regulations, food labeling, and soda taxes."

But, how can you cut down on your fizzy drink intake?

While the researchers don’t make it clear whether diet soft drinks with no added sugar are included in these intakes, the NHS generally advises to cut down on your intake of fizzy drinks.

"Do not have drinks that are high in sugar too often – they're higher in calories and the sugar can damage your teeth," the health service says.

It adds that nearly a quarter of the added sugar in our diets come from sugary drinks like fizzy drinks, fruit juices and cordials.

"A can of regular cola contains 7 teaspoons of sugar (35g). Try swapping to water, sugar-free or no-added-sugar drinks or lower-fat milks," it suggests.

A separate study from 2016 found that one fizzy drink per day can increase visceral fat - the kind of fat that wraps around your internal organs - by as much as 30%.

"Research has shown that excessive visceral fat around the abdomen and vital organs is linked to an increased risk of heart disease," the British Heart Foundation’s Senior Dietitian, Victoria Taylor, said at the time.

"This study suggests that, as well as contributing to obesity, regularly drinking sugar sweetened drinks may also influence the amount of fat around our organs."

In response to the study, the British Heart Foundation called for Brits to reduce the amount of sugar-sweetened drinks consumed and recommended a healthy diet.

Because soft drinks contain both sugar and caffeine - two highly addictive substances - it can be difficult to cut them out completely at first but the best thing to do is to start lowering your intake of them until you are consuming them rarely rather than often.

Source: Laura Hampson, Yahoo Life UK


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