The report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics reports that nearly 50% of the US population over the age of two consume a sugary beverage a day, whilst 70% of boys aged between 2 and 19 consume sugary drinks on any given day.
The CDC researchers found that a quarter of consume at least 200 calories a day of sugary drinks – more than the equivalent of a 12-ounce can of cola. Whilst, males aged 12 to 19 consume the most sugary drinks – about 273 calories' worth per day on average.
“Men drink more than women, and teens and young adults drink the most,” said Dr Cynthia Ogden, an epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, and lead author of the report.
Ogden and her colleagues looked at data from the 2005 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
The survey asked a sample representative of the U.S. population what they ate and drank during a 24-hour period – including the amount of sugary drinks consumed.
The report found that boys age 2 to 19 drink the most, with 70% drinking sugary drinks on any given day, whilst adult women, overall, drank less, with 40% drinking sugary drinks on any given day.
Teen boys’ averaged 273 calories a day from sugary drinks; whilst teen girls consumed 171.
Men between 20 and 39 were found to average 252 calories a day, with women in the same age bracket averaging 138 calories.
Ogden and her colleagues added that around five percent of the population drink at least 567 calories from sugary drinks a day – the equivilant of over four 12-ounce colas.
One surprise, Ogden said was that ''over half, 52%, of sugar drinks are consumed at home." She said she believed that people would be more likely to drink them out of the home, such as in restaurants.