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Are sugar-sweetened beverages harmful?

H Wu and JP
Chanoine Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit, British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital, Vancouver BC V6H 3V4

key message
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) are a significant source of calories in youth
  • Some but not all studies show an association between SSB consumption and increased bodyweight
  • Potential mechanisms explaining the adverse effects of SSBs include excess calories, inappropriate compensation mechanisms and type of carbohydrate (fructose)
  • Interventional studies aimed at decreasing SSB intake show positive but modest effects on body mass/composition in youth
  • The effect of voluntary measures by beverage companies such as better label information or actions such as SSB taxation by regulatory authorities need to be evaluated

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  • PDF Document