Liquid calories are not as satisfying as solid food and they generally lack any nutritional value.
75 percent of U.S. adults are projected to be overweight or obese by 2015, according to researchers. Americans consume anywhere from 150 to 300 more calories than they did three decades ago and half of those calories come from liquid. A new study out of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health finds that reducing liquid calories, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks such as punches, fruit juices and sodas, helps people lose weight and keep it off.
Question: Why the emphasis on liquid calories?
Americans consume more liquid calories now than they ever have before. But unlike calories from solid food, it's much harder for people to track how many calories they consume from drinking. The human body's systems for regulating hunger and food intake are complex. But scientists do know that the lack of physiological and environmental cues associated with drinking, like not having to chew or prepare a drink like you prepare a meal, play a role. For these reasons, liquid calories don't keep a person full and they are not as satisfying as solid food. They are usually "empty calories" as well because they generally lack any nutritional value. Watch more on the dangers of sweetened drinks »
Question: Are healthy drinks like smoothies and teas a better option when trying to lose weight?
Not really. As one dietitian CNN spoke to phrased it, "A calorie is a calorie is a calorie, no matter where it comes from." Many of the "healthy" drinks on the market today are loaded with sugar and various sweeteners. Drinking a 16-ounce fruit smoothie may seem like a healthy choice but it could have almost 300 calories in it that you might not account for somewhere else in your diet. Teas, fruit juices, shakes and fortified waters are all great examples of seemingly healthy drinks that can be loaded with calories.
The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.