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Numbers Game: Answer

A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health study published in the November 2007 issue of Obesity Research found that per capita total daily intake of liquid calories in the United States increased 94 percent from 1965 to 2002.

This means the average American is now getting a hefty 21 percent of his or her total calories exclusively from beverages.

Since we are talking about mostly caloric beverages (particularly sodas and fruit juices), this makes the 2002 figures 222 calories higher than those from 1965!

Add to that the fact that these 222 calories are not balanced out by a reduction in food intake (if anything, they are accompanied by an increase in calories from food!) and it becomes rather clear why rates of overweight and obesity have increased.

Let the accompanying photo also serve as a reminder that 7-11′s 44 ounce Super Big Gulp and 64 ounce Double Gulp cups did not exist in 1965!


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