Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in children and adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Am J Clin Nutr 2013; 98(4):1084-102AJ
The relation between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and body weight remains controversial.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize the evidence in children and adults.
We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases through March 2013 for prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the SSB-weight relation. Separate meta-analyses were conducted in children and adults and for cohorts and RCTs by using random- and fixed-effects models.
Thirty-two original articles were included in our meta-analyses: 20 in children (15 cohort studies, n = 25,745; 5 trials, n = 2772) and 12 in adults (7 cohort studies, n = 174,252; 5 trials, n = 292). In cohort studies, one daily serving increment of SSBs was associated with a 0.06 (95% CI: 0.02, 0.10) and 0.05 (95% CI: 0.03, 0.07)-unit increase in BMI in children and 0.22 kg (95% CI: 0.09, 0.34 kg) and 0.12 kg (95% CI: 0.10, 0.14 kg) weight gain in adults over 1 y in random- and fixed-effects models, respectively. RCTs in children showed reductions in BMI gain when SSBs were reduced [random and fixed effects: -0.17 (95% CI: -0.39, 0.05) and -0.12 (95% CI: -0.22, -0.2)], whereas RCTs in adults showed increases in body weight when SSBs were added (random and fixed effects: 0.85 kg; 95% CI: 0.50, 1.20 kg). Sensitivity analyses of RCTs in children showed more pronounced benefits in preventing weight gain in SSB substitution trials (compared with school-based educational programs) and among overweight children (compared with normal-weight children).
Our systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and RCTs provides evidence that SSB consumption promotes weight gain in children and adults.