Research concludes sugar-sweetened beverages contribute to US obesity epidemic, particularly among children

April 24, 2014 by Mollie Turner
Juan Carreño de Miranda‎'s "La monstrua desnuda" (The Nude Monster) painting.

In response to the ongoing policy discussions on the role of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on weight and health, The Obesity Society (TOS) concludes that SSBs contribute to the United States' obesity epidemic, particularly among children. Based on an in-depth analysis of the current research, the TOS position statement unveiled today provides several recommendations for improving health, including that children minimize their consumption of SSBs.

"There's no arguing with the fact that the high rates of in the U.S. are troubling for our nation's health, specifically the recently reported rise in among children in JAMA Pediatrics," said TOS spokesperson Diana Thomas, PhD, Professor at Montclair State University and Director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research. "Following a thorough review and analysis of the existing research, TOS concludes that, by adding more non-nutritious calories to the American diet, SSBs have contributed to the U.S. . Further, we recommend that to maintain and improve health children minimize drinking SSBs and adults reduce or avoid SSB consumption as part of an overall strategy to reduce calories."

According to the position statement posted online, TOS defines SSBs as sodas, sports drinks and other types of beverages that are primarily made up of water and added sugar. Consumption of these drinks in the U.S. remains high - Americans report that SSBs comprise 6-7% of overall calorie intake.1

"Despite the challenges researchers have faced with isolating the impact of specific foods or beverages on body weight, the studies conducted on SSBs thus far have generated important and meaningful data leading to our conclusion," said Dr. Thomas. "The evidence shows that individuals with a higher BMI consume more SSBs than their leaner counterparts, and that decreasing SSB consumption may reduce overall calorie intake and help individuals with obesity or overweight reach healthy weight goals."

Weight gain occurs when total energy intake exceeds energy expenditure for extended periods of time. Because SSBs are a non-nutritious source of calories, decreasing and even eliminating them from the diet offers an excellent opportunity to reduce total energy intake. As a healthy alternative to SSBs, TOS reinforces the need for individuals to consume more water, a readily accessible, calorie-free source.

"Our efforts to help improve the food choices and environment for Americans certainly don't stop here," said Steven R. Smith, MD, TOS President. "More research is needed to better understand the relationship between SSB reduction and weight loss in adults, as well as the relationship between all energy-dense foods and weight."

TOS recognizes that weight gain is a problem for many individuals that rises beyond both calories consumed and any singular calorie source.

"We encourage policymakers, scientists, clinicians and the public to further explore the total caloric density of foods, including all foods high in added sugar, in an effort to provide more science-based nutritional insight and develop healthier food and beverage options to support America's health," continued Dr. Smith. "We look forward to serving as a continued resource for science-based information in this area."

Explore further: Kid's consumption of sugared beverages linked to higher caloric intake of food

More information: For more information read the full position statement here: www.obesity.org/publications/r … l-caloric-intake.htm

Related Stories

Kid's consumption of sugared beverages linked to higher caloric intake of food

March 12, 2013
A new study from the Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reports that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are primarily responsible for higher caloric intakes of children that consume SSBs as ...

Review: sugar-sweetened drink intake tied to elevated BP

April 23, 2014
(HealthDay)—Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake is associated with elevated blood pressure (BP), according to a review published in the May 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Regular consumption of sugary beverages linked to increased genetic risk of obesity

September 21, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health have found that greater consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is linked with a greater genetic susceptibility to high body mass index (BMI) and ...

Most schools meet USDA drinking water mandate, more steps needed to encourage consumption

April 9, 2014
A new USDA mandate calling for access to free drinking water during lunchtime at schools participating in the National School Lunch Program went into effect at the start of the 2011-12 school year. Researchers from the University ...

Recommended for you

Are sugary drink interventions changing people's behaviour?

July 19, 2017
An evaluation of efforts designed to reduce how many sugary drinks we consume shows some success in changing younger people's habits but warns they cannot be the only way to cut consumption.

Young adult obesity: A neglected, yet essential focus to reverse the obesity epidemic

July 18, 2017
The overall burden of the U.S. obesity epidemic continues to require new thinking. Prevention of obesity in young adults, while largely ignored as a target for prevention and study, will be critical to reversing the epidemic, ...

Weight gain from early to middle adulthood may increase risk of major chronic diseases

July 18, 2017
Cumulative weight gain over the course of early and middle adulthood may increase health risks later in life, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. They found that, compared ...

Study finds children carry implicit bias towards peers who are overweight

June 23, 2017
Even children as young as 9 years old can carry a prejudice against their peers who are overweight, according to a new study led by Duke Health researchers. They might not even realize they feel this way.

Mother's obesity boosts risk for major birth defects: study

June 15, 2017
Children of obese women are more likely to be afflicted by major birth defects, including malformations of the heart and genitals, according to a study published on Thursday.

New study finds more than 2 billion people overweight or obese

June 12, 2017
Globally, more than 2 billion children and adults suffer from health problems related to being overweight or obese, and an increasing percentage of people die from these health conditions, according to a new study.

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Returners
1 / 5 (2) Apr 24, 2014
I've lost nearly 20lbs by switching from Root Beer(soda) to Hawaiian Punch, and changing nothing else. The Hawaiian Punch has about half the sugar, and 100% of vitamin C.

I had to quit taking multivitamins due to the calcium and copper contributing to my Neuropathy and kidney problems, but I do still take a vitamin D3 supplement due to vitamin D3 deficiency.

Anyway, overall I feel much healthier, but I still have the neuropathy problem...
Uncle Ira
2 / 5 (4) Apr 24, 2014
I've lost nearly 20lbs by switching from Root Beer(soda) to Hawaiian Punch, and changing nothing else. The Hawaiian Punch has about half the sugar, and 100% of vitamin C.

I had to quit taking multivitamins due to the calcium and copper contributing to my Neuropathy and kidney problems, but I do still take a vitamin D3 supplement due to vitamin D3 deficiency.

Anyway, overall I feel much healthier, but I still have the neuropathy problem...


@ Returnering-Skippy we are so much glad that you feel the better and you didn't need to tell us you still have the neurologically problems, no. You be sure to keep us up to dated with that because we all get up in morning with wondering how it is going Cher.
Ratfish
5 / 5 (1) Apr 24, 2014
I've lost nearly 20lbs by switching from Root Beer(soda) to Hawaiian Punch,


Try drinking water, you slob.
jahbless
not rated yet Apr 26, 2014
Pedobear says "hallow!"

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.