By Bernie Tafoya

CHICAGO (CBS) — A new study finds that the average adult in Cook County is getting nearly half of his or her sugar intake in a day from drinks with sugar in them.

Professor Lisa Powell of the UIC School of Public Health did her study before the county’s sweetened beverage tax began. She had wanted before and after data.

What Dr. Powell found was that the average adult in Cook County drinks pop, juice, sports drinks and coffees with sugar in them, at least twice a day, with 10 percent of adults downing sugar-filled drinks more than four times a day.

“Sugary drinks are considering 48 percent of added sugars in Cook County adults’ diets and that amount already exceeds recommended limits.”

She said there are serious health implications like obesity, Type II diabetes, cardiovascular problems and more.

“We don’t have the tax anymore, but sugar-sweetened beverages consumption is still a concern in Cook County so we’re going to have to start to think about other policy instruments and how we can bring this consumption down,” Powell said.

The study finds racial and ethnic minorities and lower educated women drink the most sugary beverages.

Even though Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax has been repealed, Dr. Powell plans to study whether it had an impact on consumption during its brief existence.

Dr. Powell’s study did not include drinks that are artificially sweetened.

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