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Title: Simulated reductions in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages improves dietary in Lower Mississippi Delta adults

item Thomson, Jessica
item Tussing Humphreys, Lisa
item Onufrak, Stephen - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDCP) - United States
item Connell, Carol - University Of Southern Mississippi
item Zoellner, Jamie - Virginia Polytechnic Institution & State University
item Bogle, Margaret
item Yadrick, Kathy - University Of Southern Mississippi

Submitted to: Food and Nutrition Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/18/2011
Publication Date: 10/17/2011
Citation: Thomson, J.L., Tussing Humphreys, L.M., Onufrak, S.J., Connell, C.L., Zoellner, J.M., Bogle, M.L., Yadrick, K. 2011. Simulated reductions in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages improves dietary in Lower Mississippi Delta adults. Food and Nutrition Research. 55(7304):7P.

Interpretive Summary: It has been estimated that two thirds of adults in the United States drink sugar-sweetened beverages or sugary drinks, averaging over two 12-ounce cans per day. This poses a potentially serious health risk as sugary drinks have been linked to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, and sweetened tea, may be of particular concern in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) region of the United States since it suffers from high rates of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. To determine the effects of sugary drinks on the diet quality of LMD adults, the investigators simulated 25%, 50%, and 100% replacement of sugary drinks with water. They found that significant increases in diet quality scores could be achieved by such replacements. Further, replacing 100% of sugary drinks with water has the potential to result in an average 22-pound weight loss over the period of one year for this adult population. Interventions designed to encourage replacement of sugary drinks with non-caloric beverages, such as water or artificially sweetened drinks, are sorely needed. Such interventions may be the most effective way to reduce consumption of sugary drinks resulting in substantial positive effects on the health of individuals.

Technical Abstract: While the effects of replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water on energy intake and body weight have been reported, little is known about how these replacements affect diet quality. We simulated the effects of replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with tap water on the diet quality of Lower Mississippi Delta adults using the Foods of Our Delta Study 2000 data set and the Healthy Eating Index-2005. We also explored the effect of sugar-sweetened beverage replacement with water on total energy intake and body weight. Using dietary intake data collected in 2000 for 1,689 adult participants, we computed Healthy Eating Index-2005 total and component scores using the population ratio method. Simulating the replacement of sugar-sweetened beverages with tap water at 25%, 50%, and 100% levels resulted in 1-, 2.3-, and 3.8-point increases, respectively, in the Healthy Eating Index-2005 total score. Based on a mean daily intake of 2,011 kcal, 100% substitution of sugar-sweetened beverages with water would result in 10.7% reduction in energy intake. Over a one year period, this would equate to a projected 10.2 kg weight loss, on average, for this Lower Mississippi Delta adult population. Replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water could substantially improve the diet quality of the Lower Mississippi Delta adult population and potentially lead to significant weight loss over time. Prioritizing intervention efforts to focus on the replacement of sugar-sweetened beverages with energy-free drinks may be the most efficacious approach for conveying potentially substantial health benefits in this and similar disadvantaged populations.