Sugary drinks are considered as one of the major factors leading to obesity. A study recently reveals other reason why we should avoid using them regularly: they may boost visceral fat in our bodies, increasing the risks of getting involved in diabetes and heart diseases.
Visceral fat is a dangerous type of body fat, which pads the space between our internal organs, such as the liver, pancreas and intestines. Having too much of it in our bodies may boost type-2 diabetes and heart disease risk. Some studies, moreover, have linked it with higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers. Also, Johns Hopkins Medicine indicated that women with an over 40 inch and more waist and men with a waist of more than 35 inches are more likely to have health problem related to visceral fat.
Recently Dr. Caroline Fox, a special volunteer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and colleagues has conducted a research investigating the association between sugary drink consumption and the development of visceral fat. The results have been published in Circulation – a journal of the American Heart Association (AHA).
The reseacher collected data from 1,003 participants at the avarage age of 45 that were part of the Framingham Heart Study – a project supported by the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. They underwent computed tomography (CT) scans at the beginning and the end of the 6 year project so as to measure any body fat changes occurring. Also, they had to fill out food questionnaires which shown the consumption of sugary drinks and diet soda.
Following what they reported, the participants were allocated into 4 categories: non-drinkers, occasional drinkers (use sugary drinks once a month or less than once a week), frequent drinkers (once a week or less than once a day) and those who drank at least once a day.
After 6 year following that project, the researchers worked out that visceral fat increased by 852 cm3 for those who drank daily, 707 cm3 for frequent drinkers, 649 cm3 for occasional drinkers and 658 cm3 for non-drinkers. In other words, there is no relationship between diet soda consumption and visceral fat.
The biological mechanisms behind this study couldn’t be explained but Dr. Jiantao Ma, a postdoctoral fellow at NIH suggests that added sugar may involved in insulin resistance, which then raise the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
In spite of the health risks connected to sugar-sweetened drinks, their consumption rates remain high. Sugar drinks are now consumed by nearly half of the American, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
These findings are said to contribute to the conclusion that sugary drinks are bad for our health.