Lesson 21.5: Science Connection

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How Much Soda Pop Do You Drink?

If you are like many children, you gulp gallons of soda pop. But do you know exactly how much soda pop you gulp in one year?

A new study shows that Americans drink more soda pop today than ever before. In fact, during the last 25 years, Americans have doubled the amount of soda pop they consume. That's one big gulp!

The study shows that Americans drink an average of 1.6 cans of soda pop every day. That might not sound like much, but it can really add up. In one year, on average, each American drinks 597 cans of soda pop.

Drinking Liquid Sugar

Americans' super-size appetite for soda pop worries many health experts. Soda pop is loaded with sugar and calories. One 12-ounce serving can contain 10 teaspoons of sugar. Combined, 597 cans of soda contain 32 pounds of sugar!

The sugar in soda pop can cause people who drink it to gain weight faster than people who do not drink pop. In an experiment, health experts at Purdue University in Indiana had one group of people drink 449 calories in soda pop each day. They had a second group of children gobble up 449 calories in jelly beans each day.

The people who drank soda pop gained weight. The people who ate jelly beans did not. A person who drinks 597 cans of pop may gain nearly 16 pounds in the course of a year, say the Purdue scientists. The scientists now want to find out why drinking liquid sugar causes people to gain weight faster than eating sugar.

Word Wise

Drink or eat: After consuming three glasses of milk and lots of water every day, he's not thirsty for soft drinks.

Unit of heat energy gotten from food: Foods that contain a lot of sugar also contain a lot of calories.

A substance that flows, such as water: Orange juice is a type of liquid.

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The column below begins with the word “sugar,” but each of the other words and phrases mean “sugar” as well!

List the words and phrases in alphabetical order. (Remember, if two words begin with the same letter, compare the next letter in each word to help you alphabetize.)

corn sweetener
malt syrup
brown sugar
corn syrup
high-fructose corn syrup

Data Hunt

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, people are consuming sweeteners in much greater amounts than ever before. In 2001, Americans consumed an average of 147 pounds of sugars per person. Compare this to an average of 113 pounds of sugars per person in 1966.

To help you keep from gaining too much weight, the World Health Organization says to limit the sugars you consume to no more than 10 percent of your total daily calories.

  1. How many more pounds of sweeteners did a person consume on average in 2001 than in 1966?
  2. On average, how many pounds of sugars did a person consume per month in 2001?
  3. Suppose a person was consuming 2,000 calories per day in 2001. What is the greatest number of calories from sugars that the World Health Organization recommends?
  4. Suppose a person was consuming 2,500 calories per day in 2001. What is the greatest number of calories from sugars that the World Health Organization recommends?