There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about calories. Claims have been made that some calories are different from other calories, so watching all your calories is not a way to maintain balance in your life. This theory may sound intriguing, but it is simply not backed up by solid science.

“A calorie is the basic unit of energy found in foods and beverages that contributes to energy balance,” writes Megan Meyer, PhD, who is the program manager of health and wellness communications at the International Food Information Council.

“Despite groups arguing how calorie sources affect weight gain, the bottom line is that all calories are the same regardless of its food source,” she says. “Think of your body as an engine that needs fuel in the form of calories. 100 calories from a donut or a yogurt is still 100 calories of energy for the body to process and use.”

Meyer says it is misleading for some to suggest that avoiding one particular food is the only way to lose weight.

“It’s basically taking the stance that avoid ‘X’ and all your problems will be fixed! Since it sounds too good to be true, in this case, it really is,” she says. “Rather, what is most important is that you define your calorie needs and stick within that number.”

There are endless theories for losing weight. The fact is, a calorie is a calorie and the most effective, proven strategy for losing weight is to burn more calories than are consumed.

The beverage industry is making it easier for people to manage their calorie 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.

We also launched the Balance Calories Initiative last year, which will provide consumers with information and options to help them achieve balance and reduce beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20 percent by 2025. Accurate information is the key to achieving a balanced lifestyle. Beverages can certainly be a part of that lifestyle.

For more information on our industry’s initiatives, visit