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Sugary liquid diet?

Obesity is a huge problem in children, and is getting worse every year. The consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks is often cited as a contributing factor to childhood obesity. One reason for this trend is that drinking sugary drinks doesn't lead to a sense of satiety. In other words, kids (and adults) eat just as much whether they have a sugar-sweetened drink or not with their meals.

Doctors in the Netherlands ran an 18-month study to determine if children who consume sugar-sweetened drinks gain more weight than matched children given sugar-free drinks. The 641 normal-weight children, 4-to-12 years old, were divided into two groups--one received 8 ounces of a sugar-sweetened drink daily and the other 8 ounces of a sugar-free, artificially sweetened beverage. The sugared drinks contained 104 calories. After 18 months, 26% of the kids stopped drinking the beverages.

The children in the sugar-free drink group gained an average of 14 pounds compared to the kids that drank the sugared drinks, who gained an average of 16.25 pounds. Other measurements of obesity such as skinfold-thickness measurements, waist-to-height measurements and fat mass increased significantly more in the children that consumed the sugared drinks.

Drinking "empty calories" is a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic in this country. Children are gaining weight from both the extra calories from the drinks and the calories from the extra snacks or meals they eat because the sugared drinks don't make them feel full.

New England Journal of Medicine, 10/11/12

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Title Annotation:In the Literature; sugared beverages and childhood obesity
Publication:Pediatrics for Parents
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUNE
Date:May 1, 2012
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