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What is the one change you can make in any lifestyle that will quickly show weight loss results?
Public health officials there have been under fire for implementing a policy that forbids the sale of super-sized sugary drinks in restaurants and movie theaters.
For critics this public health move seems like too much intervention and infringement on personal freedom.
Of course, the beverage industry has been predictably vocal about the new rules.
While there may be some outrage among some quarters the New York Times reports in an excellent story that there is increasing research to support this health policy change.
Two randomized clinical trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine examined the link between consumption of sugary drinks and obesity in children
As the story underlines approximately 2/3 of all Americans are classified as obese. Unfortunately the demographic data also indicates that up to one third of all children also fall under this definition.
Obesity among the very young is troubling as it may suggest that long-term obesity levels in the general population will continue to rise.
One of the trials conducted at the Boston Children’s Hospital looked at the differences in obesity in randomly assigned subjects in a group of 224 overweight children when given sugary beverages compared to sugar-free drinks.
The other trial carried out by researchers at VU University Amsterdam examined differences in obesity in a randomly assigned group of 641 children that were given either sugar or sugar-free beverages in identically labeled containers.
This study was double-blind which means that the researchers were unaware of which containers contained the sugary drinks to reduce the tendency of bias that can sometimes occur without researchers even being aware.
Both studies showed increased levels of obesity among the children that received the sugary drinks.
The debate that followed the publication of the studies is more interesting to examine.
Beverage industry professionals with clear vested interests downplayed the findings by suggesting that such changes were not long-term.
This gave the perfect ammunition for Dr. David S. Ludwig, lead author of the Boston study to respond with with renewed vigor for the importance of public policy that targets and regulates the sale of sugary drinks to create, in effect, an environment where children are not tempted by choices that are not good for their long-term health.
Dr. Martijn B. Katan of the Dutch study probably had the best line in the article.
“When you change the intake of liquid calories, you don’t get the effect that you get when you skip breakfast and then compensate with a larger lunch,” Dr. Katan said. “You skip the sugary drink and never notice it, which means that this is a less painful way of losing weight.”
The sugary drinks we consume really are an indulgence. Cutting them out will not in any way affect your nutritional intake.
If you consume sugary drinks regularly and would like to lose weight, reducing if not altogether substituting them with sugar-free drinks will be the easiest thing you can do to start losing weight.
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