Recent study reveals price impacts sugary drink intake

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A recent study, conducted by Harvard University, reveals that raising the cost of sugary drinks, by a few cents, impacts sales.

Researchers raised the price of drinks with more than 150 calories and kept prices on low or zero calorie drinks.  They found there was a 16 percent decline in the number of people who choose high calorie beverages.

The study was done after a discussion of taxing sugary drinks started.

The goal of the proposed tax is to decrease sales and impact overall health.

The American Heart Association recommends intake of sugary drinks to be more than 450 calories, or 36 ounces a week, on a 2,000 calorie diet.

"People who drink one to two cans of soft drinks a day have increased chance of obesity, heart disease and even gout," says Kelly Snow, Grand Strand Regional Medical Center Registered Dietitian.

The result of research indicated that increasing the price of soda, lemonade and other high-calorie drinks by 20 cents decreased sales.

"People who are looking for something to drink a lot of times are looking at the prices. they're not even thinking about nutrition. If they see a smaller drink or a lower-calorie drink is cheaper, they're probably just going to get that," says Snow.

She says it doesn't matter if you drink regular or diet drinks, you still crave more.

"The more sugar you have the more you're going to crave. Your body when you're drinking diet drinks thinks that's still sugar even though you don't get the calories your brain still thinks its sugar so you're still going to crave more."

If you drink just one 20-ounce bottle a day, in one week you can spend about $15 and consume more than 1,600 calories.

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