The Evidence on Sugar Sweetened Beverages

A Harvard faculty member recently published a review of the evidence to date regarding obesity and sugar sweetened beverages.  A summary of the article is below:

Resolved: there is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption will reduce the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases

by F. B. Hu

Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology,Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA,USA;

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are the single largest source of added sugar in the U.S. diet. In this review, we evaluate whether there is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing SSB consumption will reduce the prevalence of obesity and its related diseases. Because prospective cohort studies address dietary determinants of long-term weight gain and chronic disease, whereas randomized clinical trials typically evaluate short-term effects of specific interventions on weight change, both types of evidence are critical in evaluating causality. Findings from well-powered prospective cohorts have consistently shown a significant association, established temporality and demonstrated a direct dose–response relationship between SSB consumption and long-term weight gain and risk of type 2 diabetes.