JDC Gems

3. Cutting the intake of Sugary Drinks paves the way to lower overweight and diabetes

     The prevalence of obesity and diabetes among people of all ages had increased globally and now reached a quite alarming percentage. Currently, it was observed in many studies that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are the primary source of added sugar in the diet and can be one among the reasons for the increased incidences of lifestyle disorders such as obesity and diabetes. Following the observations from the studies on this aspect, recently the University of California initiated a study that evaluated the impact of sweetened beverages ban on the health benefit of its employees.

      As part of the study, the University had banned all sweetened beverages from cafeterias, food trucks and vending machines on its campus and installed more water stations. To examine the impact of the sales ban, the researchers recruited a diverse group of employees and documented the effect by regularly taking blood samples and measuring the parameters such as their sugary drink/food intake, weight, and waist sizes. After a period of ten months, the researchers observed that the employees reduced their intake of sugary drinks to just half from their initial intake. Even though there is no major change noticed in the overall BMI, the employees are found to have reductions in their abdominal fat, including their waist sizes.

      Dr. Epel, one of the coordinators of the study said that while there was no overall change in their BMI, they had reductions in abdominal fat, including their waist sizes. According to her, this reduction can be associated with the decreased intake of sugary foods, as sugar intake is strongly linked to belly fat. This type of fat that is stored in the liver and abdominal fat tissue is highly sensitive to sugar. The analysis also revealed that those people who are overweight and subjected to the motivational sessions had the greatest reductions in sugary beverage intake and better improvements in their metabolic health.

      This first peer-reviewed observational study concluded that banning these kinds of sugary drinks or sweetened beverages can aid in improving the health and also in reducing the cost burden of treatment of those who are working especially in private sectors. The strategy the research group adopted being a simple one, we can also follow the method in our country, in our work place too as our country also is not in the back of the queue of lifestyle diseases.


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