Bans on sugary drinks work, study finds

Halting sales of the beverages led to weight loss, according to the findings.
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New research has verified that eliminating the sale of sugary soft drinks at a worksite will bolster the health of the employee population, especially if the employer complements the ban with even a modest support program, according to the study’s authors.

The findings are likely to catch the attention of healthcare and college and university foodservice operations as well as business and industry installations. The test site for the ban was the University of California at San Francisco and was implemented among employees of the school’s medical facilities as well as campus personnel. Patients and students were not among the participants, who numbered 214 in total.

As a result of the 15-month ban, the respondents lost weight in their torsos and faces, according to a report of the findings published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, a medical journal. At the 10-month mark, the avid soda drinkers had cut their consumption in half. 

But the study found that cutting sugary drink consumption was not a silver bullet. Respondents did not show a change in their body mass index, a key gauge of health, nor their insulin sensitivity, a measure related to diabetes.

As part of the study, 109 subjects were randomly selected to participate in a support program modeled after standard alcoholism intervention programs. The support consisted of a 15-minute educational session followed by one-minute follow calls one week, one month and six months later. Participants in the support program tended to cut their sugary soft drink consumption by three times the cutback of nonparticipants.

The research was conducted by health experts at the San Francisco facility. 


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