Monday, 15 August 2016

One less sugary drink a day WILL keep the doctors away

Credit Image: Virginia Tech

A new study has shown that if you replace just one sugary drink for water, no matter how many sugary drinks you have a day, you can reduce your weight and improve your health.

We all know that drinking sugary drinks are bad for us. The number of calories in them can lead to weight gain and obesity as well as diabetes and heart disease. But in this new study by Dr Kiyah J. Duffey (a nutrition consultant) and Assistant Professor Jennifer Poti (the University of North Carolina), they found that the effect of replacing one sugary drink with the same amount of water reduced the number of calories and likelihood of obesity

Sugar from sweetened drinks, such as coffee, energy drinks and pop, is a big contributor to the amount of sugar we get in our diets. Lots of data have shown that the number of sugary drinks that people have a day is over the recommended amount. Between 1999 and 2010 the number of people drinking energy drinks tripled!! I myself have given in to the hype and, during my university exams, had an unusually high amount of energy drinks… 

Water has been shown to be good for your health, as well as your mind. Although there isn't a recommended amount of water you should drink a day. 

Image Credit to Emilian RobertVicol on Flickr

The study by Dr Duffey and Prof. Poti showed that 19-29 year-olds drink the most water and the most sugary drinks compared to older age groups. With 19-29 year-olds drinking around 2.5x more water than sugary drinks, whereas older adults (66 years +) drink about 6.5x more water than sugary drinks. The findings of this study show that adults worried about weight gain and the related health effects of obesity would benefit from the diet "replace one sugary drink for one drink of water." This may be easier with bottled water looking like it will overtake sodas as the top selling beverage.However, this is not the first study to look at the relationship between drinking water and obesity.

Last month (11th July 2016) researchers at the University of Michigan showed that people who are obese are more likely to be inadequately hydrated. The scientists who did the study admitted that this water: obesity link isn't clear, but that drinking enough water is a cornerstone for a good diet.

Image Credit to BrianSmithson on Flickr

Unlike the above study, the scientists from the University of Michigan said that they can't say if being inadequately hydrated causes obesity or if being obese causes dehydration, but what they can say is that there is definitely a link between the two. This may be because fruits and vegetables normally have a lot of water in them, meaning people who eat lots of these will get more water as well as the health benefits of eating lots of fruits and vegetables.

Both of these studies taken together confirm the statement from Professor Tammy Chang, from the University of Michigan Medical school, who said "Staying hydrated is good for you no matter what." 

It looks like water may be a key to unlocking one of the many doors to weight-loss. 

There isn’t one way to help you lose weight. However, a diet which cuts down on sugar (especially added sugar) and a lifestyle which incorporates exercise should put you on the right path. 

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