Sugary Drinks

Photograph of a hand holdinga soda can pouring sugar into a drinking glass. DOWNLOADIcon for a PDF file

Sugary Drinks

  • Sugary drinks are beverages with added sugars. They include sodas, sweetened teas, and sports, energy and juice drinks.
  • Sugary drinks are high in empty calories and have no or low nutritional value.
  • One 20-ounce bottle of soda can pack over 70 grams of added sugar — that's more than 250 empty calories.

These drinks are also high in calories:

  • Blended coffee drinks
  • Milkshakes
  • Smoothies
  • Hot chocolate
An icon of two commonly found sugary drinks.

Health Risks of Sugary Drinks

Drinking sugary drinks can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cavities and weight gain. Excess weight is linked to high blood pressure, some cancers and other health conditions.

  • An icon of a glucose meter.

    Type 2 diabetes: a serious disease that affects how your body uses sugar. If left untreated, it can lead to other health issues.

  • An icon of a heart with an EKG line going through it.

    High blood pressure: a condition where the force of blood moving through your blood vessels is too high. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

  • An icon of a heart with a bandage crossed over it.

    Heart disease: conditions that affect blood flow to the heart. Heart disease and stroke are among the leading causes of death in New York City.

Sugary Drink Ads

To get adults and children to buy sugary drinks, beverage companies:

  • An icon of a stack of US dollars.

    Spend hundreds of millions of dollars on promoting sugary drinks

  • An icon of a mobile device.

    Use social media, cartoon mascots, toys and giveaways to sell their products

  • An icon of people gathered around a video screen.

    Use movies, TV shows and celebrities to push their products

Beverage companies want you to think that sugary drinks are fine if you exercise and eat healthy, but even one sugary drink can put you over the daily recommended limit for calories from added sugars.

Tips for a Healthier You

  • Avoid sugary drinks and do not give them to children.
  • If you do have a sugary drink, choose a small size so you drink fewer empty calories.
  • Check the Nutrition Facts label and avoid drinks with added sugars such as corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, honey or molasses.
  • Instead of reaching for a sugary drink:
    • Drink water or seltzer, and add fruits, vegetables or herbs for flavor.
    • Eat whole fruits instead of drinking juice.
    • Ask for coffee and tea with no sugar.