[By Lila Thomas]
The verdict is out! Avoid soft drinks, as they could not just make you gain pounds, they actually alter the way your body burns fuel and make it harder still to lose weight, says a study. And the negative impact of sugary drinks is visible after only just a month of regular consumption. Drinking sugared fizzy drinks or “liquid candy” as they are affectionately termed, for just a month changes the body permanently so it’s more difficult to lose weight.
Your muscles switch to ‘prefer’ sugar over fat as a fuel, and thus losing weight becomes an uphill battle. And worryingly this effect is long-term leading to increased risks of diabetes and other health issues.
Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, of Bangor University showed in a study that not only can regular sugar intake acutely change our body metabolism; in fact it seems that our muscles are able to sense the sugars and make our metabolism more inefficient, not only in the present but in the future as well. This will lead a reduced ability to burn fat and to fat gain. Dr Kubis warned the drinks can compromise long term health and, when in need of refreshment, people should reach for water instead.
In the study, the move to an inefficient metabolism was seen in male and female participants who were lightly active, and drinking soft drinks for just four weeks. In essence, the study showed that our body adjusts to regular soft drink consumption and prepares itself for the future diet by changing muscle metabolism via altered gene activity – encouraging unhealthy adaptations similar to those seen in people with obesity problems and type 2 diabetes.
This latest findings is certainly worrying considering the fact that more young kids are switching to “liquid candy” as beverage companies up their ante to woo the young consumers.
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has recently published a report entitled Bubbling over: Soda consumption and its link to obesity in California. The facts are indeed worrying. Over 10.7 million Californians over the age of one drink at least one soda a day (or other sugar-sweetened beverage). 41% of children ages 2-11 drink at least one soda or other sugar-sweetened beverage every day. That number goes up to 62% of adolescents ages 12-17!
The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, vs the recommended 5-9. That 200-400% more than recommended. If you think that’s a high number, just one 20 fl oz single use bottle of soda has 17 teaspoons of sugar.
Each American consumes an average of 50 gallons of sugar sweetened soft drinks per year, making soda the #1 source of added sugar in the American Diet.
The average size of a soda increased from 6.5 oz in the 1950′s to 16.2 oz today (149% increase!). Milk consumption, on the other hand has decreased by 33% in the last 30 years.
Parents should be forewarned: each additional daily serving of soda increases a child’s chance risk for obesity by 60%! This could explain why in the last 25 years, the obesity rate in California rose from 8.9% to 24.3%. That’s one in four Californians!
It’s time to rethink that can of coke or energy drink in your hand. Not only is it adding to our weight, it is hardwiring our bodies to stay fat! Reach for water the next time you feel the need to quench your thirst. You will be doing yourself and your bodies a huge favour.