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Holiday Gift Guide SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2012

Think diet drinks for holiday entertaining

By Metro Creative

Although food and presents may be on the minds of holiday hosts and hostesses, they may want to give some consideration to beverages as well. To be accom- modating to the most number of guests, include sugar- free beverages when celebrating the season. According to a study by Tala Fakhouri, an epidemi- ologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diet drinks are overtaking sugary bever- ages among many health-conscious men and women. Research found diet drink consumption has in- creased over the past decade, reinforcing other the be- lief that regular soda drinking has decreased. Diet drinks include calorie-free and low-calorie so- das, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and sports beverages. Sugar consumption in sodas has dropped from around 150 calories a day in 2000 to 91 calories in 2008, indicated study findings.

Men are more likely to consume sugary drinks, while 21 per cent of diet drinks are consumed by women. Sugary beverages have been under fire for years, par- ticularly because of their suspected link to rising obe- sity levels. At roughly 150 calories per serving, one sug- ary soft drink per day can add roughly 1,000 calories to the average person's diet per week.

Water is always the healthiest beverage, so make that available to all guests. Put filtered water in a pitcher with some cucumber or apple slices for a refreshing flavor. For those serving soft drinks, have diet vari- eties on hand for people who are counting calories. All- natural fruit juices may be a wise choice for parties with children in attendance.

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19 Great Christmas Gift Ideas

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