Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are consumed globally, and have been associated with adverse health outcomes, including weight gain, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and cardiovascular disease (CVD). There is global variation in beverage formulation in terms of glucose and fructose concentration, which may pose unique health risks linked to glycemic control for Australian consumers. However, previous systematic reviews have overlooked Australian-based literature. A systematic review was performed to synthesise evidence for the associations between consumption of SSBs and intense-sweetened beverages with clinical cardiometabolic risk factors in the Australian population. Articles were sourced from Global Health, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, Medline, and Culmative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. To be eligible for review, studies had to report on the consumption of sugar-sweetened (including fruit juice and fruit drinks) and/or intense-sweetened beverages, and at least one clinical cardiometabolic risk factor. Eighteen studies were included in this review. Research has mostly focused on the relationship between SSB consumption and adiposity-related outcomes. No studies have examined indices of glycaemic control (glucose/insulin), and the evidence for the health impact of intense-sweetened drinks is limited. In addition, studies have primarily been of cross-sectional design, and have examined children and adolescents, as opposed to adult populations. In the Australian population, there is modest but consistent evidence that SSB consumption has adverse associations with weight, but there is insufficient data to assess relationships with cardiometabolic outcomes.
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