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In a bid to slim down British waistlines, a recent report published by The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has called for a nationwide ban on fast food ads before the watershed. In addition to restricted advertising, the report also suggests a fizzy drinks tax to discourage Brits from gorging on high-calorie soft drinks.

The BBC reports that “the UK is one of the most obese nations in the world, with about a quarter of adults classed as obese”. With one in three primary school leavers overweight even now, that figure could nearly double by 2050.
The diet industry in the UK is worth a whopping £2bn, but losing weight to feel fab in skinny jeans and adopting a healthy lifestyle to feel fab within are not the same thing: a diet of zero-cal fizzy drinks and fat-free cakes might result in a positive change on the scales, but how are all those E-numbers, preservatives and chemical flavourings making us feel overall?
In April 2012, the Express reported that “there are 2.9 million people in the UK with sugar problems, and the number of us with diabetes is expected to be more than four million by 2025″. These astronomical figures suggest that despite a passion for dieting, we can’t seem to make permanent changes to our lifestyles.
It’s easy to forget how quickly the hidden calories in drinks add up. The Journal Of The American Dietetic Association has reported that non-alcoholic beverages account for close to 25% of the calories and about half the added sugar we consume in the UK and US.
So, how can we combat the liquid calorie problem without missing out on our favourite creamy coffees, frothy milkshakes and fizzy drinks? A good start is to swap fizzy drinks, sugary squash and processed fruit juices for natural alternatives. These include coconut water, freshly squeezed juice or refrigerated water infused with fruit such as sliced citrus, berries, cucumber slices or fresh mint.
If you love the fizz, add natural flavours to calorie-free soda water or slimline tonic water. In coffee shops, always ask for skimmed or semi-skimmed milk in your latte, and try soy instead of dairy. It may take some time to get used to, but could pay serious dividends for your health and shape.

Photo c/o shape.com