George Washington University found US children and teens who consumed low-calorie or zero-calorie sweetened beverages took in about 200 extra calories on a given day compared to those who drank water, and took in about the same number of calories as youth who consumed sugary beverages. After adjusting for body weight, consumption of low-calorie sweetened beverages, sugary beverages and combined consumption of both was associated with 196, 312 and 450 higher total calorie intake compared to youth who consumed predominantly water. Consumers of low-calorie sweetened drinks, sugary beverages and consumers of both took in 15, 39 and 46 extra calories from added sugar compared to water consumers. The highest calorie intakes were reported in children and teens that consumed both low-calorie sweetened beverages and sugary beverages.
Lightbulb Moment: To paraphrase, this study was not designed to show that low or zero-calorie beverages causes unhealthy weight gain, but to show a link between consuming sweetened beverages (containing sugar and/or low-calorie sweeteners) and higher intakes of both calories and sugar. Interested in learning how clinical health studies may affect your brand? That’s where Culinary Tides, Inc. comes in.