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NewsBites April 2017 Issue

Don't Overlook Calories Added to Coffee and Tea

You may not give much thought to adding a splash of cream and a spoonful of sugar to your coffee or tea, but these add-ins can add up in calories. A study published in Public Health aimed to figure out just how much. Scientists analyzed data gathered in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 13,185 coffee drinkers and 6,215 tea consumers over about a decade.

Based on self-reports of what people drank over a 24-hour period, it was calculated that drinking coffee with caloric add-ins was, on average, associated with a daily increase of 69 calories compared to drinking it black. Drinking tea with add-ins resulted in an average daily increase of 43 calories compared to plain tea. With both beverages, sugar contributed the most to calories from add-ins and amounted to an average of 2 to 2 teaspoons daily. Dairy add-ins increased saturated fat intake.

"Consider gradually reducing, then eventually omitting, sugar and sugary syrups in these drinks, and replace cream with low-fat or skim milk," says Ruopeng An, PhD, the lead author of the study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

To Learn More: Public Health, May 2017

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