-- Eliminating just one soda a day can have a dramatic impact on your weight and health, according to study published today by Consumer Reports.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief women's health correspondent, said that by eliminating one 20 ounce soda per day, which is approximately 119 cups of sugar in a year, an average sized person can potentially eliminate up to 52 pounds of added sugar in their diet a year.
Too much sugar, Ashton said, can lead to "inflammation, oxidative stress, and it affects the blood vessels in our body, literally every organ system from the brain to the heart to the kidneys," Ashton said.
But the new report proposes alternatives to soda to help people lose weight and reduce their sugar consumption.
3 Soda Swaps to lose weight
Replace the soda with a sports drinks to lose approximately 6 lbs. in a year
Replace the soda with ice coffee to lose approximately 9 lbs. in a year
Replace the soda with water to lose approximately 14 lbs. in a year
"Don't drink your calories," she encouraged. "In general, you want to eat your calories."
Benefits of Water
For its part, the Sugar Association said in a statement, "Sugar plays many roles in a healthy, balanced diet by making nutritious foods (like dairy products and whole grains) more palatable, serving important functional and safety purposes, and being part of the enjoyment of life through foods and beverages that are considered treats. Depending on calorie needs, weight goals and physical activity level, people's treat allowances can vary greatly. The Sugar Association supports dietary advice recommending treats that contain few nutrients be consumed in moderation and in the context of personal nutrition needs."
"The Sugar Association is the scientific voice of the U.S. sugar industry, making a difference by continuously supporting scientific research and sharing our knowledge of sugar to increase consumer understanding and confidence in the role that sugar plays in a nutritious, balanced and enjoyable diet," the statement added.