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Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Linked to Obesity in Children and Adults

Sugar-sweetened drinks such as soda and sugary juices are popular, but they may be contributing to serious weight gain around the world. A recent study suggests that drinking sugar-sweetened drinks is linked to being overweight and obese in both children and adults.


For this review, researchers examined data from 30 studies published between 2013 and 2015 that included a total of 244,651 participants. Thirty-three percent were conducted in Europe, 23% in the United States, 17% in Central or South America, 10% in Australia, 7% in South Africa, and the final 10% in Iran, Thailand, and Japan. Twenty of the studies included children and 10 included adults.


Approximately 93% of the studies found a positive association between sugar-sweetened drinks and being overweight or obese. Only one study involving children did not find an association. The majority of the studies adjusted for other diet and lifestyle factors, and still found a positive association between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and being overweight or obese.


Researchers from the Special Institute for Preventive Cardiology And Nutrition led the review. It was published online ahead of print on December 14, 2017, in Obesity Facts.


Previous studies suggest that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to the obesity epidemic in the US. Obesity increases the risk of adverse health conditions such as heart disease and stroke, type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and osteoarthritis.

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