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Ditch the fizz to cut your waistline; HEART HEALTH.

A NEW campaign by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges representing more than 220,000 doctors across all specialities, has been launched to tackle the UK's obesity epidemic.

Among the recommendations, the group has called for a 20% tax on fizzy drinks which have been dubbed the "ultimate bad food".

Frequent intake of high-sugar snacks and drinks can lead to an increased weight and waist measurement, putting you at risk of developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, both of which are associated with unhealthy lifestyles.

Heart Research UK has some practical tips and advice to help you to find alternatives to these unhealthy drinks and reduce your risk of obesity and chronic disease.

High days and holidays - limit fizzy drinks to just special occasions to enhance the special nature of your celebration; | don't undo all the good work and the energy spent after activity with a fizzy drink. Rehydrate with zero-calorie still or sparkling water instead and help to keep that waistline in check; | serve water with slices of fresh fruit such as orange, lemon or lime or a fruit cocktail combination to flavour plain water; | dilute pure fruit juices with sparking mineral water to create the same bubbly sensation you get from fizzy drinks, and | switch to a heart-healthier option when eating out, such as a herbal or fruit tea or a fruit smoothie.

Fizzy drinks are full of sugar and empty calories, which means they have no nutritional value and therefore lack vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are essential for good health.

These simple swaps will help to wean you off the habitual "sugar fix" and help to control your weight and your waistline, and help to provide you and your family with a future free from obesity and the chronic diseases that can come with it.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 25, 2013
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