Sugar-sweetened drinks increase deep fat in the body

Recent research has suggested that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages tend to gain a particular type of fat, known as visceral fat. Visceral fat is the hidden fat that lies deep inside the abdomen, surrounding vital organs like the liver, heart, intestines, and kidneys.

Visceral fat accumulation has been shown to cause impaired glucose metabolism (that leads to diabetes), lipid disorders, and increased blood pressure, all under the umbrella term – metabolic syndrome. People with this condition are at increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Data from the American Framingham Study has shown that there is a direct correlation between greater sweetened beverage consumption and increased visceral fat.

Study participants were categorized into four groups: non-drinkers (consumed sugar-sweetened beverages less than once a month), occasional drinkers (once a month or less than once a week), frequent drinkers (once a week or less than once a day), and who drank at least one sugar- sweetened beverage daily.

Over 6 years of follow-up, the visceral fat volume increased by 658 cm3  for non-drinkers, 649 cm3  for occasional drinkers, 707 cm3  for frequent drinkers, and 852 cm3 for those who drank at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily.

Another study reported in 2015 in The Journal of Nutrition concluded that soft drink consumption was positively associated with increased waist circumference in Spanish adults. Waist circumference is often used as a measure of abdominal fat.

This study showed that a 100 kcal increase in energy intake by soft drink consumption was associated with a 1.1 cm increase in waist circumference. On the other hand, substituting 100 kcal of soft drinks with  100

kcal of whole milk and juice was associated with decrease in waist circumference by 1.3 cm and 1.1 cm, respectively.

In conclusion, there is enough scientific evidence for us to limit the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in our diets.

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