• By Jason Howland

Mayo Clinic Minute: What are your kids drinking?

October 15, 2018

Beverage choices affect calorie intake and quality of your daily diet. And according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), not all children in the U.S. are drinking healthy beverages. But the number of kids who are making healthy choices might surprise you.

Jason Howland has more in this Mayo Clinic Minute.

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A recent CDC report found that water accounted for more than 43 percent of the beverages consumed by children ages 2 to 19.

"The good news is the most common thing kids are drinking is water," says Dr. Donald Hensrud, director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. "Water is best for the body."

But here's the bad news.

"On the other hand, they're drinking the same amount of soda, 20 percent of kids, as they are milk, again 20 percent," says Dr. Hensrud.

The CDC survey also shows that as kids enter their teens, they're drinking even less milk and more soft drinks.

"Soda, especially when it contains sugar, is probably one of the worst things we can do," says Dr. Hensrud.

According to the survey, a smaller percentage of kids ─ about 7 percent ─ are drinking fruit juice.

"There's a common belief that 100 percent fruit juice is fine, and you can drink as much as you want. However, some fruit juice ─ for example, apple juice ─ is just basically sugar water. It's not any better than soda," says Dr. Hensrud.

He says water is always the best beverage. And if your taste buds crave a little flavoring or carbonation added to your water with no sugar or calories, that's a healthy alternative.

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