An extra can of soda a day can add as much as 15 pounds in a single year, warned a report in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. According to researchers who reviewed more than 30 cross-sectional, prospective and experimental studies published over a 40-year period, soda and other sugary beverages may indeed be the culprits responsible for the rising global obesity epidemic.
The researchers found a positive association between greater intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and weight gain/obesity in both adults and children. They also noted evidence linking SSB intake to body weight in adolescents and observed that kids who drank fewer soft drinks had a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity. No wonder: A single 12-ounce can of soda provides the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of table sugar, according to this study.
“Although more research is needed,” the authors concluded, “sufficient evidence exists for public health strategies to discourage consumption of sugary drinks as part of a healthy lifestyle.”