The goal of this research was to assess patterns of beverage consumption and the contribution of total beverages and classes of beverages to overall energy intake and weight status. We conducted an analysis in a community-based study of 280 low-income overweight and obese African American women residing in the rural South. Participants provided baseline data including demographic characteristics, weight and two 24-h food and beverage dietary recalls. Mean energy intake from beverages was approximately 273 ± 192 kcal/day or 18.3% of total energy intake. The most commonly reported beverage was plain water, consumed by 88.2% of participants, followed closely by sweetened beverages (soft drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened teas, sweetened coffees and sweetened/flavored waters) consumed by 78.9% of participants. In multiple regression analyses total energy and percent energy from beverages and specific categories of beverages were not significantly associated with current body mass index (BMI). It is widely accepted that negative energy balance may lead to future weight loss. Thus, reducing consumption of beverages that contribute energy but not important nutrients (e.g., sugar sweetened beverages) could be an effective strategy for promoting future weight loss in this population.
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