Three Studies, Three Reasons Not To Drink Soda
For anyone who still needs a reason not to drink sugary beverages, three good ones have emerged from recent studies. The New York Times reports that in one study, researchers at the Boston Children’s Hospital delivered diet drinks of water to 224 randomly assigned overweight or obese teenagers for one year. Yes, those who received the drinks gained only 3.5 pounds on average during that year, while a comparison group gained 7.7 pounds. Wait, there’s more: the weight difference disappeared when the deliveries stopped. In another study, also reported in the Times, researchers at the VU University in Amsterdam randomly assigned 641 normal-weight schoolchildren ages 4 to 11 to drink eight ounces of a 104-calorie sugar-sweetened or noncaloric sugar-free fruit-flavored drink every day. Eighteen months later, the kids in the sugar-free group gained 13.9 pounds while those drinking the sugar-added version gained 16.2 pounds.
In a third study, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have linked greater consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages with a greater genetic susceptibility to high body mass index (BMI) and increased risk of obesity. An HSPH news release reports that those researchers analyzed data from more than 32,000 men and women who were divided into four groups according to how many sugary drinks they consumed: less than one per month, between 1-4 per month, between 2-6 per week, and one or more servings per day. The researchers found that the genetic effects on BMI and obesity risk among those who drank one or more sugary beverages per day were about twice as large as those who consumed less than one serving per month. They also found that people with greater genetic predisposition to obesity appear to be more susceptible to harmful effects of sweet drinks. Read more from the Harvard School of Public Health.