Sugary drinks alert: Soda increases belly fat

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A new study shows that intake of sugary drinks like soda can increase a person’s belly fat.

According to TIME, the research published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, indicates that individuals who consume sugary beverages on a regular basis have a higher chance of developing unhealthy deep belly fats compared to those who do not.

The study was conducted over a period of six year by examining the sugar consumption data of more than 1,000 adults. Each of the participants was tasked to answer food questionnaires that relate to their sugar consumption. The body fat changes of the subjects were also measured through the use of CT scans.

The participants were then ranked into four major categories, depending on the frequency of their sugar consumption. They were the non-drinkers, occasional drinkers, frequent drinkers and those people who consumed at least one sugary drink a day.

The result showed that those who consumed sweetened drinks in a daily basis had 27 percent higher visceral fat compared to those who were non-drinkers. Specifically, non-drinkers had an increased visceral fat volume of 658 cubic centimeters, 649 for occasional drinkers, 707 for frequent drinkers and 852 for those daily consumers.

In a statement, Alice Lichtenstein, a spokesperson for the AHA, said that the result should alarm sugary drinks consumers because of the health risk caused by excess visceral fats.

“Visceral fat is the kind that’s closely associated with the risks of type 2 diabetes and heart disease,” stated the organization’s representative, as quoted by Health Day.

Researchers also added that visceral fats surround several vital organs, meaning it will be very unhealthy for those individuals who have an excess of it. The study also suggests that the accumulation of visceral fats can cause other health effects to the body like metabolic abnormalities and insulin resistance.

On the other hand, the American Beverage Association stated that sugary drinks are not necessarily the main source of fat accumulation, Health Day reports.