Thursday, March 03, 2016

Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to increased visceral fat

Public Release: 11-Jan-2016
Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to increased visceral fat
American Heart Association rapid access journal report
American Heart Association

Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages every day was associated with an increase in a particular type of body fat that may affect diabetes and heart disease risk, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

Data from the Framingham Heart Study -- federally supported, ongoing research that has advanced the understanding of cardiovascular disease -- showed that among middle-aged adults, there was a direct correlation between greater sweetened beverage consumption and increased visceral fat.

Visceral fat or "deep" fat wraps around a number of important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines. Visceral fat affects how our hormones function and is thought to play a larger role in insulin resistance - which may boost Type 2 diabetes and heart disease risk.

Researchers looked at both sugar-sweetened beverage and diet soda consumption. The researchers did not observe this association with diet soda, which is often promoted as low in calories and sugar.

"There is evidence linking sugar-sweetened beverages with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes," said Caroline S. Fox, M.D., M.P.H, lead study author and a former investigator with the Framingham Heart Study of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.


Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest contributor of added sugar intake in the United States. Sucrose or high fructose corn syrup are two of the most common sugars found in these popular drinks, which include caffeinated and de-caffeinated soda, carbonated and non-carbonated drinks with added sugar, fruit juice, and lemonade.

Daily consumption of added sugar, such as those found in sugar-sweetened beverages and processed foods, is high; in 2001 to 2004, the usual intake of added sugars for Americans was 22.2 teaspoons per day or an extra 355 calories. Growing evidence revealing the health risks associated with drinking sweetened beverages led the American Heart Association to provide added sugar recommendations in 2009; for most women, no more than 100 calories per day of added sugars, such as those found in sweetened beverages, and for most men, a limit of 150 calories per day.


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