Sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, sports drinks, and juice have been blamed for contributing to today’s obesity epidemic; however, there hasn’t been substantial evidence about its role in the development of obesity, until now. A large study of more than 33,000 Americans, spanning across several decades, has presented the first clear proof that drinking sugary beverages interacts with genes that affect weight, increasing a person’s risk for obesity beyond what it would be from heredity alone. This means that the more sugary drinks someone consumes, the greater the impact genetics has on a person’s weight and risk of becoming obese.
At The Obesity Society’s annual meeting, additional research was presented, highlighting the relationship between soda consumption and weight gain. One presentation showed that replacing sugary drinks with water or other calorie-free beverages reduced the amount of weight gained in children and teens that regularly consumed sugar-sweetened beverages. The presentation covered two studies that were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Other findings presented showed that with each soda consumed per day, children in a study were 1.8 pounds heavier than they were previously predicted to become, based on body metrics and survey data. Collectively, the studies’ findings strongly suggest that sugary beverages cause people to gain weight, and the influence is independent of other unhealthy behaviors, such as inactivity and overeating, the researchers said.
With the recent decision in New York City to ban large servings of soda in restaurants, movie theaters, and other venues, the relationship between sugary beverages and obesity has been pushed to center stage. Indeed, the serving size of soda has increased substantially in the past century. In 1916, a Coca Cola was served in a 6.5 fluid ounce bottle containing 79 calories. Today, a typical serving of Coke is 16 ounces and contains 194 calories. Replacing your daily 16 ounce soda with a calorie-free alternative could be an easy way to trim nearly 200 calories per day from your diet.
With the constant research updates, we at Surgical Specialists of Louisiana understand the difficulty in staying abreast of nutrition practices. That’s why we offer MyWeight, a program that provides one-on-one lifestyle coaching. We’ll work with you to create food plans that not only utilize innovative nutrition findings but that also address concerns like illness and addictions. Whether you’re working on weight loss after the LAP-BAND or gastric sleeve procedure, or you’re preparing for surgery, we offer a range of services to help you meet your weight loss goals. You can learn more about obesity and weight loss options on our website whyweight.com or by attending a free informational seminar.