Replacing sugar-sweetened beverage with water can help lose weight

Replace sugar-sweetened beverage with water

Sugar-sweetened beverage, such as sweetened milk, contributes to excessive weight gain through added energy intake.

In a recent study, researchers find that replacing sugar-sweetened beverage with water is a useful strategy that shows promise in helping lower excessive energy intake and lose weight.

The finding is published in Nutrients. Researchers from Virginia Tech, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Kiyah Duffey Consulting Company conducted the study.

They used nationally representative data from 19,718 US adults from The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007–2012.

Researchers examined the impact of replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water on Healthy Beverage Index (HBI) scores and obesity prevalence.

They found that replacing an 8-ounce serving of sugar-sweetened beverage with water lowered the percent of energy from beverages from 17% to 11% (among people who consume 1 serving sugar-sweetened beverage/day).

In addition, reductions in the percent energy from beverage were observed across all sugar-sweetened beverage consumption groups (1–2 servings/day and >2 servings/day).

Among adults there was a 9% to 21% improvement in Healthy Beverage Index score when one serving of water replaced one serving of sugar-sweetened beverage.

Based on the data, researchers predicted a reduction in the prevalence of obesity and increase in the prevalence of normal weight in people who replace sugar-sweetened beverages with water.

They suggest that water in the place of sugar-sweetened beverages can be used as a strategy to limit energy intake and help individuals meet beverage intake recommendations.

Related reading: Drinking plain water can help control body weight.

Citation: Duffey K, Poti J. (2016). Modeling the Effect of Replacing Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption with Water on Energy Intake, HBI Score, and Obesity Prevalence. Nutrients, 8: 395. DOI: 10.3390/nu8070395.
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