Sugary Beverages in New York City Impact Health

Healthy Beverages in New York City

Is sugar one of the first few ingredients in your favorite beverage? Many beverages contain more sugar than most New York City individuals realize. For example, many fruit juices contain as much sugar as sugar-sweetened beverages. In fact, consuming higher numbers of servings of fruit juices is associated with an increase in death for older U.S. adults, according to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open.

The study found that for each additional 12-oz serving of sugar-sweetened beverage consumed there was an 11 percent higher risk of death. For fruit juice, each additional 12-oz serving consumed was connected to a 24 percent higher risk of death. The bottom line is that consuming more sugary beverages, including fruit juice, increases the risk of death.

Unfortunately, it’s not just fruit juices that contribute to the overall amount of sugar taken in. Beverages consumed often contribute 47 percent of added sugars to Americans’ diets; soft drinks represent 25 percent; fruit drinks 11 percent; coffee and tea seven percent; and sports or energy drinks three percent. 

And that is just the sugar in beverages. Sugar can be found everywhere as there are at least 61 different names for sugar including: high-fructose corn syrup, dehydrated cane juice, cane sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, agave, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar, fruit juice concentrates, invert sugar, malt sugar, molasses and sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose).

Healthy Beverages in New York City

With so many different names to keep track of, it’s no wonder that the average American consumes so much sugar. While too much of all types of sugar is unhealthy, it’s important to know the difference between naturally occurring sugar and added sugar. Naturally occurring sugar is in foods such as fruits and vegetables. Even though these foods contain naturally occurring sugar, they also contain water, fiber, vitamin and minerals. 

100 percent fruit juice, on the other hand, is missing the fiber that usually accompanies fresh fruit and slows down sugar absorption. For example, it takes the body longer to digest an apple because of the fiber content which then causes the natural sugar to be absorbed into the body more slowly. 

Current research suggests that 77 percent of Americans are trying to decrease the amount of sugar in their diets. Avoiding fruit juices and sugar-sweetened beverages is one way to accomplish that. New York City employers can help promote healthier choices and help their employees by offering better-for-you beverages in the break room.

The key is to offer a variety of options on the beverage menu from traditional plain or filtered water to naturally flavored sparkling water. With a larger selection of options, employees are less likely to become bored and choose a beverage with a lot of sugar. Offering healthy snacks is another way to encourage healthier eating habits.

Healthy Vending would like to help stock your New York City break room or school lunchroom with vending machines full of a variety of delicious, all-natural and healthy snacks and beverages. For more information, please call us at 917.572.3671. 

Encourage Healthy Lunch Habits at New York City Businesses

Healthy Options at New York City

How healthy is your heart? February may be best known for Valentine’s Day, but it is also American Heart Month, a time for New York City individuals to reconsider their diet and exercise habits and the impact those habits have on the health of their heart.

Making good food choices is an important component of developing a healthy lifestyle but expecting to make good food choices all the time is unrealistic. New York City individuals should instead be aware of the overall picture or pattern of their diet.

What does that mean? It’s being aware of the different types of snacks, food and beverages that are consumed. Is an individual eating a variety of nutritious foods from the different food groups? Are the portion sizes appropriate? It’s also noticing which circumstances like stress, fatigue or eating with friends trigger different types of eating patterns including unhealthy ones.

Lunch time is another event that can impact future food decisions that will be made throughout the rest of the day. A recent survey from the American Heart Association (AHA) and Aramark, a food service company, found that “more than three quarters of those surveyed say they’re more likely to make healthier decisions at other times of the day if they eat healthy at lunch.”

While those numbers are great news for the health of those surveyed, the likelihood that employees will actually eat a healthy lunch is much lower. The same survey also found that “56 percent of employed Americans who typically eat lunch during work struggle to make that meal healthy.” New York City employers have just been presented with an opportunity to step in and make a difference in the types of snacks, fresh food and beverages available in the break room.

Healthy Options at New York City

Two additional results from the AHA and Aramark study show that employees are looking for a bit of help; 82 percent of participants believe access to healthy options at work is important, and 68 percent appreciate their employer’s help in becoming healthier. Creating opportunities for regular exercise during the workday is another approach employers can take to help their New York City employees become healthier.

Regular exercise not only helps maintain or lose weight, it also improves cardiovascular or heart health. If offering a gym membership or an onsite gym isn’t a realistic employee benefit, there are other ways employees can increase their physical activity during the workday. Taking a walk at lunch, parking further away from the building, using the stairs instead of the elevator and holding walking meetings are just a few ways employees can add a bit more movement to their day.

Employees who choose a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds and lean proteins and increase physical activity often have less stress, more energy and improved confidence. Now that sounds like a benefit for everyone.

For more information about updating or redesigning your vending machine refreshment menu to include healthier options, please call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to working with you.