Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?
Answer: We found that intake of regular soda is decreasing, whereas, sports drink consumption is increasing. More importantly, we found that intake of sports drinks predicted greater weight gain among adolescent boys and girls.
Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Answer: The findings were not surprising to us, but we believe they may be surprising to the general public. The marketing of sports drinks has been very clever. Advertisements show professional and amateur athletes consuming these drinks, therefore they seem to go hand-in-hand with being active. Our findings suggest that suggest these beverages supply empty calories that can result in weight gain.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Answer: Sports drinks were developed for athletes who participate in at least one hour of continuous activity. Even among this group the merits of sports drinks have been debated. Clinicians, parents, and patients need to realize that these beverages shouldn’t be consumed by people who engage in shorter bouts of activity and those who are inactive. Moreover, people should not view sports drinks as a healthy substitute for soda.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Answer: Given the high sodium content, future research should investigate whether people who consume sports drinks are more likely to develop hypertension.
Association of sports drinks with weight gain among adolescents and young adults
Field, A. E., Sonneville, K. R., Falbe, J., Flint, A., Haines, J., Rosner, B. and Camargo, C. A. (2014), Association of sports drinks with weight gain among adolescents and young adults. Obesity. doi: 10.1002/oby.20845