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).

Results

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

Conclusion

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

Period.

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