Are sugary sweetened beverages linked to obesity

Based on one study, there seems to be connection between drinking sugary sweetened drinks, and an increase in visceral fat in the body, which predisposes one to be at risk for heart disease and diabetes. Visceral fat bad form of fat located around the abdominal cavity, and this fat also is embedded around the intestines, the liver, and the pancreas.Visceral fat is found in all human beings in small amounts, but an excess amount puts one in danger for having heart disease and type II diabetes.According to John Hopkins Medicine, men who a waist that’s 35 inches or more, and women who have a waist of 40 inches or more are at a higher risk in developing health problems because of too much visceral fat. This study was carried out by Dr. Caroline Fox, who was a special volunteer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), along with her colleagues in the sole purpose of investigating how sugary sweetened beverage consumption is linked to the development of visceral fat. Dr. Fox and her fellow researcher’s analyzed the data of 1003 participants who were on average aged 45 years old. These people were part of the Framingham Heart Study, which was a continuous project backed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. During the initial and ending of the six year follow-up period this study, the participants went through a computed tomography (CT) scans, which were used to measure alterations in visceral fat, and on top of that the participants completed food questionnaires. In those questionnaires, the participants wrote their consumption of sugary sweetened beverages and diet soda. Then, these participants were placed in four sections. These sections were non-drinkers of sugary sweetened beverages, occasional drinkers of sugary sweetened beverages (drank once month), frequent drinkers of sugary sweetened beverages (drank once weekly), and those who drank sugary sweetened beverages once or more daily.

The results showed that the participants who drank sugary drinks daily had the most amount of visceral fat at 852cm, whereas non drinkers of sugary drinks had the lowest amount of visceral fat in the body at 658 cm. On the contrary, occasional drinkers of sugary beverages had a visceral fat increase of 649cm, but frequent drinkers of sugary beverages had a 707 cm increase of visceral fat. These results remained to be standard even after keeping in mind of confounding variables, such as BMI, age, level of physical activity, and gender. While there is no plausible biological mechanism as to what causes visceral fat, one possibility is that the added sugars in these beverages plays a part in insulin resistance, leading consumer’s of those drinks to be at risk for heart disease and type II diabetes. Furthermore, there was no link between drinking diet soda and visceral fat. This study is linked to the sugary randomized control trial experiment in adolescent Hispanics, and the Amsterdam randomized control study on the consumption of sugary drinks. In both of those studies, bottom line was that even a modest consumption of sugary drinks is linked to weight gain and other obesity related diseases such as type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. I believe that people need to understand that obesity and it’s associated diseases hits anyone, and in order to prevent that from happening people need to realize that “you are what you eat and drink, and its potential implications.”

Sources:
Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is associated with change of visceral adipose tissue over 6 years of follow-up, Caroline Fox et al., Circulation, published online 11 January 2016.
AHA news release, accessed 8 January 2016 via AlphaGalileo.
CDC, Consumption of sugar drinks in the United States, 2005-2008, accessed 8 January 2016.
Johns Hopkins Medicine, The skinny on visceral fat, accessed 8 January 2016.
Sugary Drink FACTS, Sugary drink facts in brief, accessed 8 January 2016.

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