Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 03:55 am est

Study strengthens link between sugary drinks, weight gain

Posted on October 2, 2012 | by Kayana Jean-Philippe

A study released by The New England Journal of Medicine last month revealed that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among adolescents has affected the rise of obesity in the United States.

David S. Ludwig and Cara Ebbeling, a director and associate director for the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center, respectively, conducted the two-year-long study.

During the first trial of the study, which was conducted at Boston Children’s Hospital, 224 overweight or obese adolescents who reported consuming at least one serving of an SSB daily were selected at random for the study and divided into two groups.

For one year, the experimental group received home deliveries of bottled water and diet beverages, which virtually eliminated their consumption of SSBs. This group only gained an average of 3.5 pounds, while the control group, drinking sugary beverages at what was presumed their usual rate, gained an average of 7.7 pounds.

A second trial was held at VU University Amsterdam, where 641 randomly selected average-weight schoolchildren between the ages of four and eleven were separated into two groups. The children who consumed eight ounces of a non-
caloric, sugar-free beverage daily gained an average of 6.39 kilograms while the control group who consumed a 104-calorie SSB daily gained 7.36 kilograms on average. Researchers then conducted a one-year follow-up, assessing the results and drawing conclusions. They found that adolescents who eliminated SSBs not only gained less weight, but also had no increase in body mass index compared to the control group.

“No other single food product has been shown to change body weight by this amount over a year simply through its reduction,” Ludwig said in a press release.

According to the release, these findings altogether suggest that teens are more likely to make healthier choices when they are more easily accessible.

However, Arlene Spark, professor of Nutrition and Public Health at Hunter College, said regular consumption of SSBs are not the only cause of obesity.

“Regular consumption of SSBs is really a proxy for a poor diet that is rich in refined carbohydrates and likely also rich in fat and low in fiber,” Spark said. “For people who are regular consumers of SSBs, eating well is not generally a priority.”

The Board of Health recently approved Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on supersized sugary beverages. By eliminating the sale of SSBs in cups larger than 16 ounces, the Bloomberg administration hopes to slash New Yorkers’ calorie consumption.

Though Spark acknowledged the increase in public awareness since the ban was enacted, she worries that it may take away individual choice.

For CAS sophomore Jayson Dorsett, learning about SSBs’ affect on weight gain did not alter his previous opposition to Bloomberg’s ban.

“It’s public awareness advertisements that have an actual impact on public opinion, not the authoritative bans that eliminate choice,” Dorsett said. “Use the truth to sway public opinion, not the law.”

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 2 print edition. Kayana Jean-Philippe is a deputy city/state editor. Email her at kjphilippe@nyunews.com. 

In the previous version of this article, WSN incorrectly reported that Mayor Bloomberg approved a ban on supersized sugary beverages. In fact, the Board of Health approved the ban. WSN regrets the error. 

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next