Teens who abandon Sugared Drinks for Calorie Free Options Weighed Less than Peers

credit: National Cancer Institute Renee Comet (Photographer) - PD

(Best Syndication News) - A study found that teens who switched from sugar-sweetened beverages to calorie-free beverages weighed less than their peers who continued to drink sugared drinks. After one year of drinking calorie free drinks instead of the sugared drinks, the teens weighed an average of four pounds less than those kids who continued to drink sugared drinks.

Cara Ebbeling, PhD (associate director) and David Ludwig, MD, PhD (director), both from the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital, led the study.

The study involved 224 overweight or obese teenagers who were either 9th or 10th grade students. The participants all drank sugary drinks on a regular basis at the start of the study. One group was assigned to drink no-calorie beverages and gave up the sugared drinks completely. The control group was to continue drinking the sugared beverages.

The way the researchers got the teens to drink the no calorie beverage was by delivering these drinks to them and their families during the first year. They also called the parents to encourage the change, and they would check-in with the participants to remind them to stop drinking sugared drinks. The study lasted two years with the first year being the change over from the sugary drinks to the no calorie beverages.

The results showed that the group that was switched over to no-calorie beverages gained four less pounds and had no BMI increase compared to the control group. Hispanic teens gained 14 fewer pounds than the control group.

The second year of the study was a follow-up period. After the second year, both groups were the same. The study demonstrated that making no-calorie drinks easily available to them increased the chance of making a healthier choice.

The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and is a part of a series of reports that is looking at the link between sugared drinks and obesity.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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