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4 in 10 adults drink 7 or more sugary beverages each week

Sep 13, 2017

For the 2017 Community Health Status Survey (CHSS), sponsored by Interact for Health, area adults were asked how many sugar-sweetened drinks they consume each week, including soda, sweet tea, sports drinks, fruit drinks and energy drinks, but not including diet soda or other diet beverages. Most people know that soda has added sugar; however, not all realize that other drinks can also contain significant added sugar. CHSS
found that 4 in 10 adults in the region (40 percent) reported drinking seven or more regular sodas or sugar-sweetened drinks each week, an average of at least one per day.

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, almost half of all added sugar consumed in the nation comes from beverages. “Sugar adds calories to a person’s diet without providing the nutrients needed to be healthy,” explains O’dell Moreno Owens, M.D., M.P.H., President/CEO of Interact for Health. The Guidelines recommend limiting added sugars to 10 percent of daily calories. “If people consume more than that, they may not get the nutrients they need from fruits, grains, vegetables, protein and dairy products.”

Studies have shown that drinking one or more sugary beverage per day — the equivalent of seven or more each week — can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

“High levels of sugar consumption over time can negatively affect a person’s health,” says Dr. Owens. “It’s important to raise awareness of the risks of
obesity and chronic disease associated with this behavior.”

Rural adults more likely to drink sugary drinks

Six in 10 adults in rural Kentucky counties (59 percent) and about 5 in 10 adults in rural Ohio counties (53 percent) and rural Indiana counties (48
percent) reported drinking seven or more sodas or sugar-sweetened drinks each week. About 4 in 10 adults in urban Kentucky counties (42 percent), the city of Cincinnati (37 percent) and suburban Ohio counties (36 percent) reported this. In Hamilton County suburbs, 3 in 10 adults reported drinking seven or more sugary beverages each week (32 percent).

Adults with less income, men, African Americans more likely to drink sugary beverages

Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages also varied by income, sex and race. More than half (54 percent) of adults earning 200% or less of the Federal
Poverty Guidelines (FPG)1 reported drinking seven or more sodas or sugarsweetened drinks each week. This compares with about 3 in 10 adults earning more than 200% FPG (32 percent). Drinking sugary beverages also varied by sex and race. Nearly 5 in 10 men (48 percent) reported drinking seven or more sugar-sweetened beverages each week, compared with more than 3 in 10 women (33 percent). Similarly, half of African American adults (50 percent) reported drinking seven or more sugary beverages each week, compared with 4 in 10 white adults (40 percent).

More information about Greater Cincinnati adults’ sugary beverage consumption, and other topics, is available online at

About the Community Health Status Survey (CHSS)

The 2017 Community Health Status Survey (CHSS) was conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati for Interact for Health. A total of 4,261 randomly selected adults residing in eight Ohio counties, nine Kentucky counties, and five Indiana counties were interviewed by telephone between August 10, 2016, and March 8, 2017. This included 1,906 landline interviews and 2,355 cell phone interviews. The potential sampling error for the overall survey data is ±1.5%. For more information about the CHSS and a list of community partners, please visit

About Interact for Health

Interact for Health builds healthy communities for all people. We serve as a catalyst for health and wellness by promoting healthy living through grants, education, research, policy and engagement. Interact for Health is an independent foundation that serves 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. More information is available on our website,

1. In 2015, 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines was $24,250 for a family of four; 200% FPG was $48,500.

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