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      Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: a systematic review

      1 , 1 , 1

      The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), particularly carbonated soft drinks, may be a key contributor to the epidemic of overweight and obesity, by virtue of these beverages' high added sugar content, low satiety, and incomplete compensation for total energy. Whether an association exists between SSB intake and weight gain is unclear. We searched English-language MEDLINE publications from 1966 through May 2005 for cross-sectional, prospective cohort, and experimental studies of the relation between SSBs and the risk of weight gain (ie, overweight, obesity, or both). Thirty publications (15 cross-sectional, 10 prospective, and 5 experimental) were selected on the basis of relevance and quality of design and methods. Findings from large cross-sectional studies, in conjunction with those from well-powered prospective cohort studies with long periods of follow-up, show a positive association between greater intakes of SSBs and weight gain and obesity in both children and adults. Findings from short-term feeding trials in adults also support an induction of positive energy balance and weight gain by intake of sugar-sweetened sodas, but these trials are few. A school-based intervention found significantly less soft-drink consumption and prevalence of obese and overweight children in the intervention group than in control subjects after 12 mo, and a recent 25-week randomized controlled trial in adolescents found further evidence linking SSB intake to body weight. The weight of epidemiologic and experimental evidence indicates that a greater consumption of SSBs is associated with weight gain and obesity. Although more research is needed, sufficient evidence exists for public health strategies to discourage consumption of sugary drinks as part of a healthy lifestyle.

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          Most cited references 91

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          Sugar-sweetened beverages, weight gain, and incidence of type 2 diabetes in young and middle-aged women.

          Sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks and fruit punches contain large amounts of readily absorbable sugars and may contribute to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, but these relationships have been minimally addressed in adults. To examine the association between consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight change and risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Prospective cohort analyses conducted from 1991 to 1999 among women in the Nurses' Health Study II. The diabetes analysis included 91,249 women free of diabetes and other major chronic diseases at baseline in 1991. The weight change analysis included 51,603 women for whom complete dietary information and body weight were ascertained in 1991, 1995, and 1999. We identified 741 incident cases of confirmed type 2 diabetes during 716,300 person-years of follow-up. Weight gain and incidence of type 2 diabetes. Those with stable consumption patterns had no difference in weight gain, but weight gain over a 4-year period was highest among women who increased their sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption from 1 or fewer drinks per week to 1 or more drinks per day (multivariate-adjusted means, 4.69 kg for 1991 to 1995 and 4.20 kg for 1995 to 1999) and was smallest among women who decreased their intake (1.34 and 0.15 kg for the 2 periods, respectively) after adjusting for lifestyle and dietary confounders. Increased consumption of fruit punch was also associated with greater weight gain compared with decreased consumption. After adjustment for potential confounders, women consuming 1 or more sugar-sweetened soft drinks per day had a relative risk [RR] of type 2 diabetes of 1.83 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.42-2.36; P or =1 drink per day compared with <1 drink per month, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.33-3.03; P =.001). Higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a greater magnitude of weight gain and an increased risk for development of type 2 diabetes in women, possibly by providing excessive calories and large amounts of rapidly absorbable sugars.
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            Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity.

            Obesity is a major epidemic, but its causes are still unclear. In this article, we investigate the relation between the intake of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and the development of obesity. We analyzed food consumption patterns by using US Department of Agriculture food consumption tables from 1967 to 2000. The consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990, far exceeding the changes in intake of any other food or food group. HFCS now represents > 40% of caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages and is the sole caloric sweetener in soft drinks in the United States. Our most conservative estimate of the consumption of HFCS indicates a daily average of 132 kcal for all Americans aged > or = 2 y, and the top 20% of consumers of caloric sweeteners ingest 316 kcal from HFCS/d. The increased use of HFCS in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in obesity. The digestion, absorption, and metabolism of fructose differ from those of glucose. Hepatic metabolism of fructose favors de novo lipogenesis. In addition, unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production. Because insulin and leptin act as key afferent signals in the regulation of food intake and body weight, this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased energy intake and weight gain. Furthermore, calorically sweetened beverages may enhance caloric overconsumption. Thus, the increase in consumption of HFCS has a temporal relation to the epidemic of obesity, and the overconsumption of HFCS in calorically sweetened beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity.
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              The Disease Burden Associated with Overweight and Obesity

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0002-9165
                1938-3207
                August 2006
                August 01 2006
                August 2006
                August 01 2006
                : 84
                : 2
                : 274-288
                Affiliations
                [1 ] From the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA (VSM and FBH); the Department of Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany (MBS); and the Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (FBH)
                Article
                10.1093/ajcn/84.2.274
                3210834
                16895873
                © 2006

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