Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: Why is it Important to Limit Soda Intake?


Our focus in this week's Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday segment is sodas and how many are too many to consume.

Limiting the amount of soda you drink may not seem like a huge deal. However, it can have a great impact on your overall health.

“A third of United States citizens are considered obese and therefore they're at risk for obesity related disease like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke,” noted Dr. Blake Garmon, an internal medicine physician at Sentara Martha Jefferson Internal Medicine.

Dr. Garmon says that soda is actually a big part of the obesity problem.

“One of the biggest drivers of increased calories in our diet comes from sugary sweetened beverages,” he said.

Part of the problem is that sodas are more common, and much larger than in the past.

“In the 1950s, the average size of a soda was only 6.5 ounces,” noted Garmon.  “Today the average size of a soda is 20 ounces which has as many as 16 grams of sugar and 240 calories."

While Dr. Garmon says it is OK to have a soda every once in a while, he does say if you are drinking multiple a day, it’s time to cut down.

“If you’re starting with six sodas a day, for the first week go down to five sodas a day; the next week go down to four sodas a day.  So you’re not doing it all at once and withdrawing from all the caffeine and sugar.” he said.

He says it’s important to set yourself up for success and to not get discouraged. In the end, he ultimately recommends keeping drink options simple if you want to live as healthy as possible.

“Honestly what I tell people is to make all of your beverages water, black coffee, or unsweet tea, the occasional glass of milk or orange juice,” he noted. 

For more information on this topic, please call 1-800-SENTARA.  If you have a question about your health you’d like us to answer email healthquestions@nbc29.com

Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday

Do you have health questions? Get the answers every Monday morning from the experts in our feature: Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

To submit your questions, email them to healthquestions@nbc29.com. Then, tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

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