The announcement by New York Mayor Bloomberg that he plans on introducing a limit on the size of soda one can consume at just about any food station in the city has been met with all kinds of reactions, positive and negative.
But to the extent that this debate is about health, science can be a guide. So, just how much sugar is in those “sugary” drinks? And compared to what?
Well, when you talk about sugar, one frame is to think of it in terms of carbohydrates. That’s because there is a recommended allowance of carbohydrates – which include sugars and starches like bread, pasta and other stuff. How many carbs should you eat?
The true answer varies from person to person. But on average, doctors recommend between 70 and 90 grams of carbs per meal, or around 270 grams a day.
As for the soda? Well, according to CalorieKing.com, a fluid ounce of Classic Coke has 3.3 grams of carbs in it. Multiply that times the 44 ounces commonly found in a standard large cup of soda a the theater and you get a whopping 145.2 grams of carbs. Nearly half your total daily carbohydrate intake in a single drink. Double the low end of acceptable carbs for an entire meal.
Of course, we’re not counting the box of candy and the popcorn you bought at the movies along with that gargantuan drink. Or your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just one big-ass cup of soda.
Put it another way: if you had the 16-ounce cup, you could have had only 52 grams of carbs. So, maybe a smaller drink isn’t such a bad idea, after all?