Eat, drink and be merry—just be mindful of those drinks!

’Tis the season of eggnog and hot chocolate, mulled cider and sparkling wine. ’Tis also the season when Americans put on half of our annual weight gain. Granted, that’s just two pounds a year, and a pound or two between Thanksgiving and New Year’s doesn’t seem all that bad. But if it happens year after year after year…well, you can do the math.

It’s easy to blame the holiday cookies, but festive foods and rich desserts aren’t the only culprits. At 500 calories, a Starbucks 16-ounce eggnog latte has almost twice the calories of a regular-size (2-ounce) Snickers bar. A cup of rich hot chocolate can add up to 13 Hershey’s Kisses.

Sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks, sports drinks, sweetened teas, etc.) are a key contributor to excessive weight gain and obesity. That was the conclusion a team of Harvard researchers reached last August after analyzing 30 beverage studies. And their analysis did not take into account holiday drinks that are even higher in calories.

Not to be a Scrooge—I love a glass of wine or a cup of hot cocoa when it’s cold out—but I recognize that if I don’t want to gain weight, I’ll need to count the calories I drink. However, I am an exception. Most of us don’t consider the calories we get from beverages in the same way we think of those we get from foods. And those calories do count: in fact, soft drinks are now the number one source of calories in Americans’ diets.

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