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The Relationship between Obesity and Sugar Intake in Soft Drinks

Over the last 30 years, the consumption of beverages laden with sweeteners and sugars has increased drastically (Lustig, 2013). In fact, the use of such products has been linked to some of the lifestyle complications that are currently experienced within local populations. Accordingly, obesity has been established as a derivative of this increased consumption of sweetened beverages, particularly carbonated soft beverages (Hyman, 2012; Hu 2013, p. 2). The respective drinks are possibly the main contributing factors towards the crises of obesity and overweight due to their highly supplemented sugar content, diminished satiety, as well as an insufficient recompense for total energy (Johnson & Gower, 2008). Whether a connection prevails between weight gain and the intake of sweetened beverages is unclear. Despite the lack of clarity within this matter, the weight of experimental and epidemiologic proof illustrates that a larger consumption of sugar-based beverages is correlated with obesity and weight gain.

Indeed, the rates of obesity have increased to drastic proportions within the United States as well as other nations within the last 20 years. Accordingly, more than 60 percent of the populace in America aged between 20 and 74 years is overweight (Morrill & Chinn 2004, p. 4). Shockingly, 30 percent of this specific demographic are deemed obese. Corresponding patterns are being evidenced among adolescents and children, which could also lead to grave health complications upon entrance into adulthood (Basu, McKee, Galea, & Stuckler 2013, p. 2075). Consequently, obesity and overweight are connected to several comorbidities of considerable public health concerns, inclusive of cardiovascular illnesses, hypertension, depression, diabetes, and different forms of cancers such as breast, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers (Keller, 2008; Johnson et al. 2009, p. 1015). The decreases in the quality of human life and efficiency derived from the implications of obesity are connected to increased social, psychological, and medical expenses (Ebbeling et al. 2012, p. 1411; Pekarek, 2007).

Even though obesity arises from a disproportion of homeostasis, the real mechanisms that underlie the respective procedure and the effective tactics of deterrence and treatment continue to be oblivious (Marks 3). Generally, obesity depicts complicated relations of hereditary, metabolic, environmental, socioeconomic, cultural, and behavioral factors (Brownell & Fairburn, 2015). Over the last three decades, the increase in obesity has coincidentally been linked to the increase characterizing the ingestion of carbohydrates, mainly associated with the consumption of supplemented sugars within beverages (Ebbeling 2014, p. 4). A number of studies illustrate that sugar-sweetened drinks possess a low saturation potential in comparison with solid food (Thornley & McRobbie, 2012; Trumbo & Rivers 2014, p. 5). Hence, the sum energy intake might be larger with calories from fluids rather than those from solid consumables. Moreover, research indicates that persons who take in calories that are derived from soft beverages do not reimburse with a cutback in the calories they consume in foods (Vos & Barlow, 2011; Greenwood et al. 2014, p. 1479).

Indeed, clear relationships exist between soft beverage intake and increases in body weight and energy consumption. Given the connection between considerable body weight and soft beverage consumption, it is unsurprising to find out that an associated and increased risk of obesity-based illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension exists among persons with high-sweetened sugar intakes (Malik & Hu 2012, p. 198). Similarly, the rates of obesity in relation to the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks have been evidenced among adolescent girls (Weiss, Bremer, & Lustig 2013, p. 126; Carwile et al. 2015, p. 6). This data further illustrates the extent to which an actual correlation exists between the consumption of sugar-laden beverages and increased rates of overweight and obesity (Ruyter, Olthof, Seidell, & Katan 2012, p. 6). Hence, there is evidence illustrating that a connection exists between obesity and the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (Brownell, 2014). Accordingly, such levels are further compounded by the fact that the consumables in this case tend to be popular across younger demographics (Grimes, Riddell, Campbell, & Nowson 2012; p. 15). In spite of this, older demographics have become considerably inclined towards the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks further contributing towards increased obesity and overweight levels within the overall population.


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Weiss, R, Bremer, A A, & Lustig, R H 2013, ‘What is metabolic syndrome, and why are children getting it?’ Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 1281,no. 1, 123-140.

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