Sugary Drink Ban Tied to Health Improvements at UCSF Medical Center
By Steve Tokar
A workplace ban on the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages led to a 48.5 percent average reduction in their consumption and significantly less belly fat among 202 participants in a study by researchers at the UC San Francisco.
Elissa Epel, PhD, lead author of the 10-month study that looked at positive health effects associated with reducing sugary beverages intake.
By the end of the 10-month study, the participants who had reduced their intake of sugary beverages, like sodas, sports drinks and sweetened teas, also tended to show an improvement in insulin resistance and lowered total cholesterol.
“This shows us that simply ending sales of sugary drinks in the workplace can have a meaningful effect on improving health in less than one year,” said lead author Elissa Epel, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of the UCSF Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center. “There is a well-known pathway from soda to disease. High sugar intake leads to abdominal fat and insulin resistance, which are known risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even dementia. Recent studies have also linked sugar intake to early mortality.”
The study was published in the Oct. 28 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, had begun in the period before UCSF ended the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages across all of its campus sites and medical facilities in 2015. The participants, who were all UCSF employees, were assessed again 10 months after the sales ban had begun.
Co-Authors: Alison Hartman, Laurie Jacobs, PhD, Michael A. Cohn, PhD, Leeane Jensen, MPH, Laura Ishkanian, MPH, Janet Wojcicki, PhD, MPH, Ashley E. Mason, PhD, Robert H. Lustig, MD, MSL, all of UCSF; Cindy Leung, ScD, MPH, of University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and Kimber L. Stanhope, PhD, MS, RD, of University of California, Davis.
Funding: University of California Office of the President, UCSF Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost, School of Medicine Dean’s office and UCSF Health, the Brin-Wojcicki Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
Means the same as sugar-sweetened beverages or liquid sugars.SugarScience Glossary
A broad term for a group of chronic diseases of the heart, these diseases include problems with blood supply to heart muscle, problems with heart valves and the electrical system of the heart. Another term you will see used to mean the same thing is cardiovascular disease.SugarScience Glossary
(SSB) Means the same as liquid sugar, or sugary drinks.SugarScience Glossary
Usually shortened to just diabetes. Sometimes called sugar diabetes. Look at Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes for more informationSugarScience Glossary
A group of chronic diseases of the brain that cause, memory loss, behavior changes, and abnormal thinking and reasoning.SugarScience Glossary
Abnormal, uncontrolled cell growth in a part of the body, many types. Another of the chronic diseases.SugarScience Glossary
One of the three major groups of nutrients we eat. Much of this website is related to problems associated with too much fat storage in the body. Each gram of fat produces 9 calories of energy if burned by the body as fuel. Fat can be stored in many places in the body. We generally think of fat as under the skin (subcutaneous), but the fat that may be most damaging to us is the fat stored in the liver and around the organs of the abdomen (intrahepatic and visceral or abdominal or intra-abdominal)SugarScience Glossary
Insulin is a messenger released from the pancreas after eating, which shunts energy (glucose or triglycerides) from the blood into fat cells for storage. Insulin is given to some people with diabetes to lower the blood glucose; it leaves the blood and enters the fat cell for storage.SugarScience Glossary