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Soda Consumption During Ad Libitum Food Intake Predicts Weight Change

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.09.016
  • Soda
  • Food Intake
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
  • Weight Change
  • Vending Machines
  • Medicine


Abstract Soda consumption may contribute to weight gain over time. Objective data were used to determine whether soda consumption predicts weight gain or changes in glucose regulation over time. Subjects without diabetes (128 men, 75 women; mean age 34.3±8.9 years; mean body mass index 32.5±7.4; mean percentage body fat 31.6%±8.6%) self-selected their food from an ad libitum vending machine system for 3 days. Mean daily energy intake was calculated from food weight. Energy consumed from soda was recorded as were food choices that were low in fat (<20% of calories from fat) or high in simple sugars (>30%). Food choices were expressed as percentage of daily energy intake. A subset of 85 subjects had measurement of follow-up weights and oral glucose tolerance (57 men, 28 women; mean follow-up time=2.5±2.1 years, range 6 months to 9.9 years). Energy consumed from soda was negatively related to age (r=−0.27, P=0.0001) and choosing low-fat foods (r=-0.35, P<0.0001), but positively associated with choosing solid foods high in simple sugars (r=0.45, P<0.0001) and overall average daily energy intake (r=0.46, P<0.0001). Energy intake from food alone did not differ between individuals who did and did not consume beverage calories (P=0.11). Total daily energy intake had no relationship with change in weight (P=0.29) or change in glucose regulation (P=0.38) over time. However, energy consumed from soda correlated with change in weight (r=0.21, P=0.04). This relationship was unchanged after adjusting for follow-up time and initial weight. Soda consumption is a marker for excess energy consumption and is associated with weight gain.

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