image: Rodrigo Dantas
image: Rodrigo Dantas

Science is finally catching up with common sense.

A new study shows that sugar-sweetened beverages (pop, fruit drinks, fruit punch, energy drinks, slurpees, or any other high-calorie beverage sweetened with sugar) have a stronger effect on obesity than any other beverage as well as any type of solid food.

The Science

The researchers tracked the dietary habits of  810 men and women aged 25-79 years old via food logs.

Beverages were divided into 7 categories:

  1. Sugar-sweetened beverages or SSBs
  2. diet drinks (diet soda and other diet drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners)
  3. milk (whole milk, 2% reduced-fat milk, 1% low-fat milk, and skim milk)
  4. 100% juice (100% fruit and vegetable juice)
  5. coffee and tea with sugar (sweetened with sugar)
  6. coffee and tea without sugar (unsweetened or sweetened with artificial sweeteners)
  7. alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, spirits, and other alcoholic drinks).


At the end of the 18 month long study, researchers found that:

  1. a reduction in liquid calorie intake was significantly associated with weight loss at both 6 months and 18 months
  2. the weight-loss effect of a reduction in liquid calorie intake was stronger than that of a reduction in solid calorie intake
  3. a reduction in sugar-sweetened beverage intake was significantly associated with weight loss at both 6 and 18 months
  4. no other beverage type was associated with weight change


The first and most successful step to losing weight is eliminating all sugar-sweetened beverages from your diet.



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  1. It it took until 2009 for some-one to figure this out?

    The science of nutrition sucks with this research thing.

    Though, I guess if they didn’t at least “test” it, the average person would just discard it as “opinion”. It is a sad, sad world we live in.

  2. “All”? Damn. I have managed to cut back quite a lot on my soft drink consumption, but I still like having one every once in a while, probably a couple or more a week. (This is having gone from 1 or 2 a day.) I’m not sure I could completely cut them out.

  3. i would argue that fruit juice is not much better than pop with regard to sugar/fructose content and weight gain.. but at least it’s a bit healthier because of the vitamins and stuff. great illustration btw *g*.

  4. I understand why regular soda is so bad for you. What about diet soda — I drink alot of water and sparkling water but sometimes or with certain foods I crave diet coke — how bad is that? I probably drink orange juice — usually freshly squeezed — 2 to 3 times a month — would like to drink it more — do you consider orange juice a SSB of sorts — what about Tropicana for example that is made from concentrate? Appreciate it — love the site! Have lost 18 lbs in 3 months — 29 more lbs to go!

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