America, You've Got a Drinking Problem

May 27, 2010
Megan Bedard is a sucker for sustainable agriculture and a good farmers market, she likes writing about food almost as much as eating it.
Don&39;t think of this as a dessert? You should. Photo: Idon&39;tknowmaybe/CC

Picture yourself eating nine Rice Krispies marshmallow bars in a row. Does your stomach hurt? 

Back in the day, when Grandma served iced tea on the porch and kids had never heard of soda, the liquid part of a day's diet didn't warrant too much consideration. Sure, your kid might puke during a game of kickball if you let him have that second glass of milk, but he wasn't likely to plump up like a kickball. 

Fast-forward half a century, and we're drinking desserts in bottles. Those nine Rice Krispies bars I mentioned? They're the equivalent of a Starbucks White Hot Chocolate with whipped cream. A McDonald’s Triple Thick Chocolate Shake will set you back as many calories as 13 McDonald's baked apple pies. 

Those drinks might not surprise you; McDonald's and Starbucks haven't exactly built reputations as guardians of your health. But there are others that might.A Rockstar Energy drink, for example, packs the nutritional equivalent of six Krispie Kreme glazed donuts. An Arizona kiwi-strawberry drink? Six bowls of Fruit Loops. And the worst drink in America? Drumroll please...Cold Stone Creamery's PB&C. In terms of fat and calories, you might as well eat 30 Chips Ahoy cookies. And if we're talking saturated fats, the heart-attack-in-a-cup is tantamount to 68 strips of bacon. 

This information comes from a top 20 list on New World Order. Check it out here, if you feel you're ready. But before you do, there's a takeaway lesson to all this: the New World Order provides alternatives, but they are simply that—a lesser of two evils. If you really want to drop your sugar intake (or high fructose corn syrup intake, as the case may be), the trick is swapping triple-bypass treats for some good old-fashioned H2O.

Photo: Idon'tknowmaybe/Creative Commons via Flickr

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