In a study from the University of Toronto and Harvard University, scientists found that sugar-sweetened beverages promote weight gain in children and adults.
Obesity is defined as excessive body fat that increases your risk of health problems. A person with obesity has a body mass index (BMI) over 30, while a person who is overweight has a BMI between 25 and 30.
Obesity is a common, serious, and costly chronic disease in adults and children.
Obesity increases the risk of several debilitating, and deadly diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
It does this through a variety of pathways, some as straightforward as the mechanical stress of carrying extra pounds and some involving complex changes in hormones and metabolism.
Previous research has found that sugar-sweetened beverages fuel the obesity epidemic.
In the current study, researchers aimed to review the evidence on sugary beverage intake and weight gain in children and adults.
They searched published research in MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane databases that evaluated the intake of sugary drinks in relation to BMI and body weight in children and adults.
A total of 85 research articles were reviewed, including 48 in children and 37 in adults.
The team found each serving/day increase in sugary intake was linked to a 0.07-kg/m2 higher BMI in children and a 0.42-kg higher body weight in adults.
In adults, the addition of sugary drinks to the diet led to greater body weight gain, and the subtraction of sugary drinks led to weight loss compared with the control groups.
Based on the findings, the researchers suggest that their study confirms that sugary drink consumption leads to higher BMI and body weight in both children and adults.
The review underscores the importance of dietary guidance and public policy strategies to limit sugary drink intake.
The study was conducted by Vasanti Malik et al and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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