Caroline Fox, lead author of the new study and a former investigator with the Framingham Heart Study of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, said in a statement.
"We found that about a third of the additional calories provided by the sugar-sweetened drinks were not expended, fat metabolism was reduced, and it took less energy to metabolize the meals", Dr Casperson added.
27 healthy-weight adults (13 male, 14 female), who were on average 23-years old, were recruited by the team to conduct the study. The results showed that drinking a sugary beverage with a meal decreased fat use, whilst having the same drink with a protein-rich meal decreased the fat use by 40 percent more. Participants received 15 percent protein meals for both breakfast and lunch after an overnight fast on one occasion, and on another visit, received 30 percent protein meals. When the participants ate the meal with 15 percent protein and drank the sugary drink, their fat oxidation decreased by 7.2 grams, compared to 12.6 grams when they ate the 30 percent protein meal with the sugar-sweetened drink. All meals were composed of the same foods and they provided 17g of fat and 500 kcals. The calories linked with the consumption of sugary drink is not metabolized during the fat metabolism process and it leads to the storage of fats in the body.
Food contains three major nutrients typesl carbohydrates, fats and protein. "This combination also increased study subjects' desire to eat savory and salty foods for four hours after eating", said Dr. Casperson.
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The study authors added that more research is needed because it's such a small study, but the takeaways are clear: Avoid that full-calorie soda and stick with water with your healthy chicken and veggies dinner, especially if you're trying to stay trim.
All of the participants underwent computer tomography (CT) scans at the beginning and end of the study, allowing the researchers to measure changes in visceral fat.
Sodas, fruit drinks, sweetened coffee and iced tea drinks, energy beverages and so on are leading added sugar sources in the American diet, as per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Around 16% of our total energy intake comes from sugar but the largest source of its income is from sugary drinks. On the expenditure side, the additional calories were not expended and fat oxidation was reduced.
She said the findings provide further insight in to the harmful role soft drinks play in the obesity crisis.