Research Related to Sugar and Beverage: should Chocolate Milk be Served in Schools
Many hours of research led Barry Popkin to show a connection between drinking sugar-sweetened drinks and obesity. After finding this connection, Barry Popkin decided he wanted to try to get rid of vending machines at schools that sold beverages such as regular and low-calorie sodas. He did this because he wanted to try to reduce the amount of sugar consumptions in schools.
The study of rats, done by Swithers and Davidson, was meant to test the theory that artificial sweeteners have a way of influencing the body’s capability to regulate calorie intake. In this study, there were two separate groups of rats that received sweet liquids. One group of rats received a liquid that was sweetened by sugar, while the other group of rats received a liquid sweetened by an artificial sweetener. After ten days, both groups of rats were given chocolate pudding that was high in calories. Both groups of rats ate a large amount of the chocolate pudding. In a separate study, each group of rats were either given chocolate milk or chocolate pudding. From this study, they found that the group of rats who received the chocolate milk gained more weight. In conclusion, the first study I mentioned was to prove that artificial sweeteners have an effect on the body’s capability to regulate calories while the second study mentioned was to show us that if something is in liquid form, then the body is less able to recognize it as energy.
In the first observational study, it showed that people who drink diet soda are more likely to gain weight and become obese compared to the people who drink sugar-sweetened soda drinks. The second study then showed us that people who drink either diet or sugar-sweetened sodas are highly more likely to develop a metabolic syndrome that can later lead to many things such as obesity and other complications. As you can see, both studies are similar since they are dealing with weight gain due to drinking diet and sugar-sweetened sodas. Sadly, we cannot directly assume that weight gain comes from drinking either diet or sugar-sweetened soda because these were observational studies and there can be complications when attempting to draw conclusions.
What the ‘Big Mac & Diet Coke Mentality’ portrays is that people are drinking diet sodas to consider themselves healthier, which makes them think they can eat foods that are unhealthy for their diet. The observational study shows us that people who drank diet sodas also had a significant gain in weight. This could be because the people involved in this study were overeating since they thought they were being healthier by drinking diet soda. You can lose/balance your weight by watching what you eat, however exercise is also an important component as well.
‘Stealth sugars’ are sugars that do not taste sweet and are added to processed foods. A form of this type of sugar is often seen as high-fructose corn syrup. A way that stealth sugars could be influencing weight gain is by making diet soda drinkers crave more sugar which is a reason for people to gain weight.
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