Reducing Intakes of Sugar Sweetened Beverages is Vital to Improving Our Nation's Health
Since its inception in 1948, the Framingham Heart Study has been crucial to our modern understanding of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. These include high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, poor diet and physical inactivity1 and form the foundation of the American Heart Association's (AHA) "Life's Simple 7" public education program2. Today the grandchildren of the original Framingham cohort are enrolled in the study and they continue to add to our knowledge of CVD1. Using data collected from the Third Generation cohort, Fox and colleagues have contributed to the robust body of literature linking sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption to adverse health outcomes in this issue of Circulation3. This is the first large, prospective, cohort study to link regular SSB consumption to deleterious changes in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) independent of weight gain. Abdominal adipose tissue, especially VAT, is linked with the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and CVD. Fox and colleagues' findings provide new knowledge about the potential mechanisms linking SSBs with cardiometabolic disease and further our understanding that sugary drinks raise the risk of heart disease and T2DM not solely because they make people heavier.
- Received December 8, 2015.
- Revision received December 12, 2015.
- Accepted December 14, 2015.