A ban on soft drinks in the office can halve the consumption of sugary drinks and help workers lose weight, new research suggests.
Nearly 70 percent of people whose workplaces cut carbonated drinks saw their waist shrink after the ban was imposed, according to a study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
With about a third of Americans classified as obese, cutting out high-sugar and fat foods is crucial to improving public health and reducing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
And the new study suggests that simply making them less available in places where people spend a lot of their time – such as in the office – can push people away from soda, without becoming extreme like banning the unhealthy drinks.
By simply removing soft drinks from vending machines and kitchens from the workplace, the consumption of thickened sweetened drinks can be reduced by up to 50% and employees can lose weight, according to a new study from the University of California, San Francisco (file)
A recent overview of research into drink consumption and obesity has shown that exchanging a glass of water instead of a sugary drink (or beer) per day can reduce the incidence of obesity.
There is no doubt that soft drinks, energy drinks and even fruit juices with added sugar directly contribute to the risk of people becoming overweight or obese.
But especially soft drinks are carefully formulated to ensure that you keep coming back or more.
So it's easier said than done to get Americans to get rid of the soft drinks.
Wholesale bans usually do not go so well – as the US discovered during the alcohol ban in the 1920s and 1930s – and simply telling people that their soft drinks can make them fat does not seem to go far enough.
Public health experts and city and sub-governments have been looking for more moderate ways to reduce the consumption of soft drinks by both adults and children in the US.
New York City, for example, tried in 2013 to set a limit on the size of sugary drinks.
The city wanted to ban the sale of soft drinks or sweetened drinks of more than 16 oz.
But the following year, courts ruled that the Board of Health exceeded its authority by banning large drinks, and the bill was destroyed.
So governments may not be well positioned to regulate what people can and cannot consume, but that doesn't mean that companies, schools or workplaces have to sell unhealthy drinks.
UCSF researchers speculated that if drinks were not immediately available on campus, school staff would not bother buying soft drinks elsewhere and having them work with them.
To test their theory, they recruited 202 university staff members, some of whom said they drank sugar-sweetened drinks every day.
& # 39; This is a group of people who were at high risk of an early onset of metabolic diseases and probably also of cancer & # 39 ;, said lead researcher Dr. Elissa Epel.
& # 39; They drank at least one sugared drink per day.
& # 39; The overweight or obese participants already had very high insulin resistance, in the pre-diabetic range, and the lean participants were also insulin resistant. & # 39;
The investigation began just before UCSF chose to stop selling sweetened drinks throughout the campus in 2015.
Half of the participants received a motivational lecture about the reasons why giving up soft drinks would be good for them.
The participants in both groups drank on average less soft drinks.
The daily average was no less than 35 oz of soda per day at the start of the study. By the end of the 10 months, the average daily drink had dropped to 18 oz, a decrease of 48.5 from day one.
And the group that got the conversation about the & # 39; s risks of soda consumption decreased even further, to an average of just 9.6 oz per day.
& # 39; Regardless of whether they were overweight or lean, most participants in the study tended to lose belly fat when they were offered healthier drink choices at work, & # 39; said Dr. Epel.
Approximately 70 percent of the employees had a leaner substance at the end of the study period.
& # 39; This was not a ban on the consumption of sweetened drinks & # 39 ;, stressed senior author Dr. Laura Schmidt.
& # 39; People can still take them from home or buy them from campus. This study demonstrates the value in rigging workplace environments to support people's health instead of the opposite.
& # 39; UCSF simply extracted sugary beverages from vending machines in the workplace, break rooms and cafeterias & improved employee health. & # 39;
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