Sugary drinks expand women's waists
November 14th, 2011
07:53 AM ET

Sugary drinks expand women's waists

Doctors have warned people for years that too many sodas or sugary drinks can cause weight gain. But now a new study finds two or more sugary beverages a day can expand a woman's waistline, even if she doesn't  gain weight. And that can be dangerous to a woman's health.

Studies show weight carried around the middle can increase a person's risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers looked at five years of data on more than 4,000 people, middle-aged and older, and compared those who drank two or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day with those who drank one or less. They assessed risk factors in follow-up exams, monitoring the participants' weight gain, increase in waist size, their HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, sugar levels, triglycerides and their possible development of diabetes.

They found the women who had two or more beverages had increasing waist sizes, and were nearly four times as likely to develop high triglycerides, or fats in the blood, than those who drank one or less sweetened drinks a day.

"Women who drank more than two sugar-sweetened drinks a day had increasing waist sizes, but weren't necessarily gaining weight," said Christina Shay, lead author of the study and assistant professor at the University Of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. "These women also developed high triglycerides and women with normal blood glucose levels more frequently went from having a low risk to a high risk of developing diabetes over time."

The researchers did not see the same results among the men in the study.

"Most people assume that individuals who consume a lot of sugar-sweetened drinks have an increase in obesity, which in turn, increases their risk for heart disease and diabetes," said Shay, "Although this does occur, this study showed that risk factors for heart disease and stroke developed even when the women didn't gain weight."

Investigators said women may have a higher risk of developing heart disease from sugary drinks because they require fewer calories than men, so excess calories build up and cause health issues.

The research was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011.

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Filed under: Heart • Nutrition • Obesity

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Elmer117

    Were these cane or beet sugar sweetened drinks or high fructose corn syrpu sweetened drinks?

    November 14, 2011 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jonjon

    Diet sodas are not any better for the waistline. A medical study similar to the one mentioned in this article found that diet sodas caused weight gain. See http://blog.wannabuddy.com/2011/07/can-diet-soda-make-you-fat.html for more details. They found higher blood sugar levels after drinking diet sodas, even though they contained NO SUGAR. Pretty amazing, and troubling. I think that I will stick with green tea.

    November 14, 2011 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bonnie

      Diet drinks contain sweetner worse than plain sugar. Check it out. It's really bad.Splenda, Aspertane and all of them.

      November 15, 2011 at 01:53 | Report abuse |
  3. Francesca

    Cigarettes cause cancer, sugar and carbs make you gain weight, who doesn't know this? Just don't make them available to all of us for God's sake!

    November 14, 2011 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dom625

      Sugar and carbs make *some* people gain weight. The backbone of my diet is refined carbohydrate-based stuff: pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, etc. I make no excuses about my passion for candy and sweets and Sprite. I also make it a point to exercise five times a week and indulge in my sweet tooth only occasionally (but the refined white flour is a daily thing). I am slightly underweight for my height and wear the same size now as I did fifteen years ago when my oldest son was born. I have always eaten what I want–but I have also always been very active. Don't demonize carbohydrates on the whole.

      November 14, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
  4. Bobby

    Gave up these crap drinks for good tasting , 0 calories water.. Next step, a Berkey water filter to get rid of toxic fluoride ( I can use topical toothpaste if I want fluoride)..

    November 14, 2011 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mary

    Wow, wonder how much they spent on this brilliant study? It maybe true for SOME people, but not for all. I drink anywhere from 2-5 Cokes a day and I do not have that middle waist or any weight problem. Surely, the money spent on this study could have been spent on something more important, like a food bank,toward someone's hospital or medical bills that they can't pay.

    November 14, 2011 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. chris

    No S**t.... now breaking news, beer also causes weight gain in middle of men!!

    November 14, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Denman

    Here's a suggestion for the Medical Community:
    1.) Smoking can cause cancer and other life-threatening illness.
    2.) Drinking can cause cancer and other life threatening illness.
    3.) Taking in more calories than you burn will usually result in weight gain and can eventually lead to life threatening illness.
    4.) For the majority of human beings, the way to lose weight and stay physically fit is through a healthy diet and exercise program.

    November 14, 2011 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tam

    I quit soda at the end of this past September and have lost a total of 8lbs. I don't have my little love handles or that bloated feeling in my belly anymore. All I've been drinking is the recommended amount of water per day and green tea. I haven't changed my eating habits and I don't exercise (I should though) so I was surprised with how quickly I've noticed the difference. And the funny thing is that I never really drank more than 1 or 2 cans of soda a day but the amount of calories that are added in a week by sugary drinks are pretty shocking if you look at it. I weighed 145 and now I'm at 138 so I'm hoping I can just lose the weight I gained in college by doing this and get back to 125lb. So after quitting sugary beverages like soda and non-organic juices, I feel totally content just drinking water and tea. I recommend that others should give up their reliance on sugary drinks as well because of the overall health benefits.

    November 14, 2011 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Greg

    Surely the fact that someone drinks more than 2 sugary beverages a day is merely an indicator of a sub-par diet, and it is the diet itself that gives all the health problems. Seems like we are treating a contributing factor as a cause.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. montyhp

    Calories in vs calories out. Always has been,always will be.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jack

    Fetch this article is as old as the author,there's nothin' new here...except for a piece of GARBAGE ideas.....

    November 14, 2011 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • your mom

      your mom is gay

      December 6, 2018 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
  12. Alen

    Soda and diet soda are bad for you. Tea can cause kidney stones and is not recommended if you have acid-reflux. Club soda contains carbonic acid which can hurt teeth. Even water can cause potentially fatal disturbances when the normal balance of electrolytes are pushed out-of-whack. Alcohol is probably the safest liquid for most people, just make sure its close to 200 proof, so that it doesn't contain any of those other nasty liquids.

    November 14, 2011 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. larry5

    Sugary drinks are not food. Focus more on eating food and drinking water. Don't eat anything processed or anything with added sugar, fat, salt or chemicals. Stick to eating food.

    November 14, 2011 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Who Cares

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS AN ARTICLE MADE ON THIS. OMG what the hell has this country come to???? Are you kidding me? You need a page long article to tell you that sugary drinks expand the waist size. This country is doomed to obesity.

    November 15, 2011 at 00:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Bonnie

    Why do we crave sugared drinks? I can't go one day without having 4-12oz. bottles of coke. I gag on water and it makes me want to thow up if I drink it in the morning. I want to get off sugars and sodas. Is there a place like AA the can help a person stop this craving and habit of drinking sodas? It sounds pitiful but I want to get rid of my fat tummy, off of sugar and be at least half way healthy again. Water and honey?

    November 15, 2011 at 01:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Doug

    Did you know that exercise causes you to lose weight too? Gotta get me some money to study that one.

    November 15, 2011 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
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