Roundup: 1 in 3 Americans Drink Sugar-Laden Beverages Daily; Harvard: Long Life Linked to Friends & Habits

Nearly one-third of Americans consume at least one sugar-laden soda or juice every day, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Too many sugar-sweetened drinks in the American diet are detrimental to overall health, contributing to the obesity epidemic, and higher risk of diabetes and heart disease. Sodas are considered a major source of added sugars, the CDC says.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends limiting the amount of added sugar people consume to 12 teaspoons a day. Added sugars should make up less than 10 percent of daily calories, U.S. officials say. As an example, a can of regular soda usually contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar.

Among the 23 states and the District of Columbia that asked survey participants about sugar-sweetened drinks, estimates of intake ranged from 47.5 percent in Mississippi to 18 percent in Vermont, the CDC says.

“Continued efforts aimed at decreasing daily SSB (sugar-sweetened beverages) intake are needed especially in southern states and among demographic groups with the highest reported consumption,” the CDC states.

Individuals aged 18 to 24 were most likely to consume at least one sugary drink a day. Others most likely to have at least one of these beverages daily included men, unemployed adults, and those with less than a high school education, the CDC study found.

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Women_Jogging happyHarvard Study: Long, Healthy Life Linked to Friends & Habits

Social connections and healthy habits are the keys to longevity, according to Harvard University’s Nurse Health Study. Healthy aging is based on several factors, such as being a nonsmoker, level of alcohol consumption and staying active.

“Individual health behaviors, defined as current smoking, alcohol consumption, sedentary behavior, and being overweight each contributed to significant decrements in functioning across all age-groups,” the study says.

After poor healthy habits are factored out, your social network contributes “significantly” to longevity, according to the Harvard study. The research — one of the longest-ongoing research projects about health — examined the health and lifestyles of more than 56,000 women, 55-72 years of age, in the U.S.

“Strong predictors of high functioning among older women were having close friends and relatives and presence of a confidant,” the study reported.

Women who lacked a confidant had a 4.44-point loss in overall physical function and lost 5.68 points in vitality, the researchers said.

“These effects were comparable in magnitude to those observed among heavy smokers, or women in the highest category of body mass index,” the report said.

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