The researchers, from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard, tracked changes in body mass index (BMI). At two years, there was no substantial difference in BMI between the groups.
At one year, however, the rise in BMI was smaller in the group that was encouraged to have fewer sugary drinks.
Beverage Industry Perspective
Americans are drinking fewer sugary drinks, according to the American Beverage Association. In its statement, it says that calorie intake from sugary drinks declined by more than 20% between 2001 and 2010.
“By every measure, sugar-sweetened beverages play a small and declining role in the American diet,” it says.
“Obesity is caused by an imbalance between calories consumed from all foods and beverages and those burned through physical activity,” the statement says.
The industry group took exception with the new findings. Among the many criticisms:
- The study in children, it says, did not consider physical activity and total calories.
- The genetic study looked only at the 32 known genes linked with weight, but these account for only a small amount of BMI variation, according to the American Beverage Association.