Drinking sugary sodas was associated with more fat around the belly, according to a new analysis of the Framingham Heart Study. Caroline Fox, MD, MPH, of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in Framingham, US and colleagues noted that visceral adipose tissue volume increased differently depending on how much soda the participant consumed.
Participants were drawn from the third generation of the Framingham study, which began in 2002. Their ages ranged from 19 to 72 years, 53.3% were women, and almost all (99.7%) were white. Participants were examined by physicians and underwent laboratory tests for vascular risk factors. Only about half of the patients in the entire cohort of 4,095 ended up getting a CT scan because of the CT machine’s restriction for weight.
Most participants (85%) drank both sugar-sweetened beverages and diet soda, but only 1% reported being daily consumers of both. Fourteen people reported being nonconsumers of either type of beverage, and 15% drank diet soda daily. Those who drank sugar-sweetened beverages were more likely to be men, younger, and current smokers than those who didn’t drink sugar-sweetened beverages. They were also less likely to have diabetes and slightly more likely to exercise. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake was inversely correlated with diet soda intake.