Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Large Study Shows Effect of Beverages on Weight Gain, Obesity Crisis

The holidays are here, and with them, the usual mix of sparkling fruit beverages, eggnog, beer and wine. We all know the effects of eating that huge Thanksgiving meal, but a new study published by the University of North Carolina shows that it is not just sugary sodas that are adding to the obesity crisis – it’s fruit drinks, alcohol and a combination of other high-calorie beverages.

Over the past 37 years, the number of calories adults get through beverages has nearly doubled, according to this study published in the November issue of Obesity Research. The study used nationally representative data to quantify both trends and patterns in beverage consumption among 46,576 American adults aged 19 and older. Patterns and trends of all beverages adults consumed were examined between 1965 and 2002.

Researchers found that over these 37 years the total daily intake of calories from beverages increased by 94 percent, providing an average 21 percent of daily energy intake among U.S. adults. That amounts to an additional 222 calories from all beverages daily.

Sadly, water intake was measured from 1989 to 2002, and during that time, the amount of water consumed stayed roughly the same. It was shown that the average adult consumed an additional 21 ounces per day of other beverages. This has considerable implications for numerous health outcomes, including obesity and diabetes as this is just adding several hundred calories daily to our overall caloric intake.

Because beverages do not fill you up regardless of beverage type – water, sodas, milk, orange juice or beer – those extra calories are not compensated for by a reduction in food intake. In short, beverages can make you fat. Drink water.


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