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Sugary Drinks With High Protein Meals May Lead to Higher Fat Storage

Previous research has suggested that consuming sugary drinks may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and gout. Now a recent study has found that having a sugary drink with a high-protein meal may result in the body storing more fat, disturb energy balances, and affect food preferences.


Participants in the study included 27 adults who had a healthy weight and an average age of 23. All of the participants completed two 24-hour study visits. They received two 15% protein meals after an overnight fast for visit one and two 30% protein meals after an overnight fast for visit two. All of the meals contained the same foods, provided 17 g of fat and 500 kcals, and the increase in protein was counterbalanced by a decrease in carbohydrates. The participants consumed a sugar-sweetened drink with one meal and a non-sugar sweetened drink with the other meal.


Participants stayed in a room calorimeter, a furnished chamber that measures movement, oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and pressure. This allowed the researchers to determine how many grams of carbohydrate, protein, and fat they are using and how many calories they are burning every minute.


The researchers noted that the sugar-sweetened drink was associated with an 8% decrease in fat oxidation. When consumed with the 15% protein meal, there was an average 7.2 g decrease in fat oxidation. When consumed with the 30% protein meal, there was an average 12.6 g decrease in fat oxidation. Consuming a sugary drink was also associated with a desire to eat savory and salty food for four hours after eating.


Researchers from the USDA conducted the study. It was published on July 21, 2017, in BMC Nutrition.


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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