Are there different types of calories? Are some calories more “fattening” than others? There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about calories. In a recent column by physical therapist Nick McClary, he shares an interesting anecdote about weight gain - a friend forgoes soda in favor of a “healthier” juice. After switching to the juice the friend gained weight. When the friend switched back to soda, he lost weight.

As Nick points out, “It all comes down to calories. Quite simply, there are 20 to 30 more calories per serving in the all-natural fruit juice than in the soft drink. Multiply that by a couple of servings a day, and you’re bound to pack on the pounds.”

It’s important to understand that a calorie is a calorie. Calories from fat aren’t different from calories from added sugars. Certainly, added sugars can lead to weight gain, “[b]ut it’s not because added sugar is inherently evil. It’s when you have added sugars that go beyond your calorie requirements for the day that they lead to weight gain.”

We should all be mindful of the calories we consume, whether it’s from beverages or foods. That’s why America’s beverage companies are making it easier for people to manage their calorie and sugar intake by offering a variety of options and clearly displaying calorie counts on the front of every bottle, can and pack we make and on vending machines.

Accurate information is the key to achieving a balanced lifestyle and beverages can certainly be a part of that lifestyle. For more information on our industry’s initiatives, visit