More people sipping sugary drinks

Sugary beverages may cause weight gainAs the American obesity epidemic shows no sign of slowing, many health experts have placed some blame for the trend upon the Western diet.

Now, a study conducted at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that people’s consumption of sugary beverages has grown over the past 20 years in the U.S.

The researchers suggest that these drinks – included fruit punches, sodas, sports drinks, sweetened teas and other sweetened beverages – could be significant contributors to a person’s daily caloric intake.

“More adults are drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and – among those drinkers – consumption has increased,” said lead author Professor Sara N. Bleich.

Younger people tended to consume the largest number of calories from these drinks, taking in between 231 and 289 calories per day, according to the findings.

Although the study did not specifically look at how obesity is related to sweetened beverage consumption, the researchers suggested that efforts to combat unhealthy weight in the U.S. may want to include strategies for limiting these drinks.

Earlier this year, research published in the British Medical Journal suggested that consuming sugary drinks could increase a man’s chances of suffering from gout.