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Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Has at Least 1 Soda a Day

Of 18 states surveyed, Mississippi had highest rate with 32 percent of adults downing a daily soda

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Factors such as poverty, cultural issues and a lack of access to more nutritious food and drink options might play a role in state-to-state disparities in soda/fruit drink consumption, the researchers added.

Other nutrition experts had little good to say about sugary beverages.

"One of the main evils of soda is that it displaces other healthier choices," said Arlene Stein, nutrition support dietitian at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.

"Calorically dense liquids like soda do not satiate hunger," she pointed out. "Rather, they promote a rush of insulin, resulting in hunger soon after consumption."

Nina Eng is chief clinical dietitian at Plainview Hospital in Plainview, N.Y. She said that, "the American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day [about 100 calories], and men consume no more than nine teaspoons [150 calories] per day."

According to Eng, "one 12-ounce serving of soda contains eight teaspoons of sugar, which exceeds AHA recommendations for women in just one beverage."

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