The report noted that the major sources of added sugars in the diets of Americans are soda, energy drinks and sports drinks

The report noted that the major sources of added sugars in the diets of Americans are soda, energy drinks and sports drinks

The American Beverage Association (ABA) has criticised the latest set of dietary guidelines released by the US government that suggests sweetened beverages should be replaced with water.

On Monday (31 January), the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services launched an updated version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in a bid to promote healthy eating among consumers and reduce the prevalence of obesity.

The report notes that the major sources of added sugars in the diets of Americans are CSDs, energy drinks and sports drinks. It also claims that reducing the consumption of these drinks will lower the calorie content of a consumer's diet.

"Sweetened foods and beverages can be replaced with those that have no or are low in added sugars. For example, sweetened beverages can be replaced with water and unsweetened beverages," the report states.

However, the ABA believes that there is "nothing unique" about the calories from added sugars or sugar-sweetened beverages.

"To suggest that Americans ‘drink water instead of sugary drinks' fails to be grounded in the totality of the science," Dr Maureen Storey, senior VP for science policy for the ABA, told just-drinks. "If consumers are seeking ways to reduce caloric intake, our industry provides myriad no- and low-calorie and smaller-portion beverage options, in addition to bottled water.

"While many consumers may enjoy tap or bottled water, beverages with no- and low-calorie sweeteners are more appealing to others and may in fact help people lose weight or maintain a healthy weight," Storey added. "This is a position supported by health organisations including the American Dietetic Association."

To view the full dietary guidelines, click here.