Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Beverages and Weight Gain

The Study
The long term association beverage choice and weight gain was examined in a combined cohort of the Nurses’ Health Study, The Nurses’ Health Study II, and the Health Professional Follow-up Study. In total, there were 124,988 subjects included in this investigation that were followed for approximately 20 years. Participants reported their beverage consumption and their weight every 4 years throughout the study period. The researchers then calculated how 1 daily cup of a given beverage would impact weight each 4 year period. 

Here are the results:
1 cup of water resulted in .3 lbs. of weight loss

1 cup of sugar sweetened beverages resulted in a .8 lbs. weight gain

1 cup of fruit juice resulted in a .5 lbs. weight gain

1 cup of diet soda resulted in .2 lbs. of weight loss

1 cup of coffee resulted in .3 lbs. of weight loss

1 cup of tea resulted in .1 lbs. of weight loss

Substituting 1 cup of water per day for 1 cup of sugar sweetened beverages resulted in a weight loss of 1.1 lbs. over 4 years.
International Journal of Obesity 2013; 37:1378-85.

Take Home Message
At first glance these numbers seem kind of small. However, it is important to realize that these results are for just one cup. Many of us drink 20 ounce sodas and coffees. If you drink 8 glasses of water per day, 8 x .3 = 2.4 lbs. of weight loss over 4 years, 4.8 lbs. over 8 years, 7.2 over 12 years and 9.6 over 16. My point is that these numbers can add up over time to have a powerful impact on your weight.

It is becoming evident that the body does not fully recognize calories in liquid form. In other words, if you have a snack before dinner, most of us will eat a bit less at that dinner to compensate. Studies show that if you drink a soda before dinner, you won’t eat any less at the meal. Liquid calories don’t seem to register with our body the way solid food does.

Stay away from calorie containing beverages like soda and fruit juice, and instead go for water, club soda, coffee, tea and the occasional diet soda. Over time, these choices can have a really nice impact on your weight and your health.

 

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