A recent analysis of 32 studies conducted by Vasanti Malik, Walter Willett, and Frank Hu from the Harvard School of Public Health demonstrated conclusive evidence that sugary drinks were related to weight gain, increased diabetes, and increased Body Mass Indexes.
Using only the most reliable information, the Harvard researchers demonstrated that eliminating sugary drinks (including soda, juice, and energy drinks) from children’s diets resulted in reduced BMIs. The researchers also demonstrated that adding these types of drinks to the diets of adults resulted in increased weight gain, obesity and risk of diabetes.
It is difficult for researchers to conclude why sugary drinks result in weight gain. Without question, the end result is an excess consumption of calories; however, it is difficult to pinpoint if the drinks cause weight gain because people are not eating less of other foods to compensate, or just because they are high in calories in provide little to no other nutritional value.
The research analysis demonstrated that every extra 12 ounce sugary drink consumed results in an increased BMI. For adults, this meant adding an additional 1/4 to 1/2 pound of fat per 12 ounce sugary drink over a one year period.
Doctors and researchers attribute sugary drinks’ high sugar content, negative effect on blood sugar, and empty calories with directly resulting in added weight gain in those who consume on a regular basis.
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The complete study is available in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition