Back away from the soda

Half the U.S. population ages 12 and older enjoys some form of sugary drink on any given day, according to new research. A sugary drink is defined as juice, soda, energy drinks, sports drinks and sweetened bottled water. Men get an average of 175 calories a day from sugary drinks (more than one can of cola) while women average 94 calories a day (less than one can of cola). The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 450 calories a week from sugar-sweetened drinks. Here are some key findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study:

• Boys ages 2 to 19 drink the most, with 70 percent drinking a sugary drink on any given day.

• Adult women, overall, drink less, with 40 percent consuming a sugary drink any given day.

• Teen boys averaged 273 calories a day from sugary drinks; teen girls, 171. Men 20 to 39 averaged 252 calories a day; women in that age range averaged 138 calories.

• Five percent of the population drinks at least 567 calories from sugary drinks a day. That is more than four 12-ounce colas.