Replacing one sugary beverage daily with water may prevent weight gain, researchers claim

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Chapel Hill, NC – Replacing one 8-ounce serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage per day with water may help people keep off the pounds, according to a recent study from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Researchers analyzed data from 16,429 American adults who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2007 and 2012. They found 14.3 percent of adults drink one to two servings of sugar-sweetened beverages daily, and 27.1 percent consume more than two servings. These beverages have been the subject of recent obesity-related policy debates because of the amount of calories they contain, a university press release states.

Further analysis showed that, among adults who consumed one sugar-sweetened beverage per day, replacing the beverage with water lowered the consumer’s percent of calories obtained from beverages to 11 percent from 17 percent. Using previously published weight loss data, the researchers predicted that this behavior could lead to a decrease in the prevalence of obesity and an increase in the prevalence of normal weight.

“Our findings provide further epidemiologic evidence that water in the place of [sugar-sweetened beverages] can be used as a strategy to limit energy intake and help individuals meet beverage intake recommendations,” the researchers wrote in the study.

The study was published online June 28 in the journal Nutrients.

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