Marked Incease in Obesity in the U.S.

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Over the last fifty years the United States has had a marked increase in the rates of obesity. Obesity, which is described by an individual having a Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥30, was only observed in 13.4% of the American population in 1960 (1). However, over the course of the next five decades, those rates have increased from 13.4% in 1960 to 35.7% of Americans in 2010 in 2010 (1). When including those who are not just obese, but those who are overweight as well (described as a patient having a BMI between 25 and 30), the statistics are even more disheartening, two out of every three adults in the United States considered overweight or obese.

The generally accepted cause of this rate in obesity is due to an imbalance of caloric intake and exercise that burns excess calories (1). One major contributor to excess caloric intake in the United States are soft drinks and sweetened beverages. These drinks are calorically dense, due to high sugar contents, while lacking nutritive elements like those seen in foods with similar calorie contents. These sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) allow consumption of large amounts of calories without the satiety that would be seen in eating a calorically similar amount of food. According to a 2001 publication (4), 9% of the caloric energy consumed by Americans was in the form of artificially added sugars from SSBs, up from 4% in the 1977. Furthermore, SSBs contain large amounts of sugar they large amount of sugar, and a consistent consumption of sugar sweetened beverages can significantly increase the risks for metabolic syndrome and diabetes. By drinking a single 12oz. serving of an SSB a day, patients have shown a 26% greater risk for developing diabetes.

In an effort to decrease caloric and sug...

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...of the 13 year study. According to their results, those who were within the upper quartile of both SSB and ASB consumption had showed a strong correlation between consumption of ASBs and SSBs and an increased hazard ratio for Diabetes. The results were also adjusted in order to compensate for risk factors such as nutritional intake, and body mass index in order to try to isolate the effects of ASBs and SSBs on diabetes generation. These adjusted results displayed an increased hazard ratio of 1.68 for those who consumed >603 mL/week of artificially sweetened beverages, and 1.30 in SSB consumers who drank >359 ml/week of SSBs, compared to a reference hazard ratio of 1 in non-consumers of ASBs and SSBs respectively. In Figure 1, the authors created a spline regression of the hazard ratios for diabetes according to the consumption of SSBs ASBs and 100% fruit juices
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