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January 29, 2016 • Weight Control

Sugary Beverages Fuel Belly Fat

sodaThe perils of drinking sugary beverages strike again. In a new evaluation from the prestigious Framingham Heart Study, researchers reported that drinking sugary beverages was tied to larger accumulations of belly fat. This is of note because belly fat, known as visceral fat, is the deadliest type of body fat because it can dramatically boost the risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. For this study the scientists monitored the diets and quantity of abdominal fat (measured by CT scan) over a six-year study period in 1,003 adults. Relative to those who never or rarely drank sugary beverages, those consuming at least one sugary drink a day experienced about a 25 percent increase in the toxic fat deep in their bellies. Even those consuming very modest amounts of sugary beverages (once a week to less than one a day) experienced a significant increase in belly fat.

Sadly, 40 percent of Americans still consume sugary beverages, and sugary beverages comprise the single greatest source (47 percent) of sugars in our diets. If you are in that 40 percent, let 2016 be the year you stop drinking them once and for all and encourage those you love to do the same. (Circulation, 2016; CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018704 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018704)