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Sugary drinks contributing to obesity epidemic, especially among kids

Last Updated: Sunday, April 27, 2014 - 17:08

Washington: A new study has found that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are contributing in the obesity epidemic, particularly among American children.

The Obesity Society's rep Diana Thomas, Professor at Montclair State University and Director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research, said that 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 US obesity epidemic.

"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," she said.

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.

Thomas said that 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.

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, she said.

Weight gain occurs when total energy intake exceeds energy expenditure for extended periods of time and 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.

First Published: Sunday, April 27, 2014 - 17:08

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