Simulated reductions in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages improves diet quality in Lower Mississippi Delta adults
AbstractBackground: Although the effects of replacing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) with water on energy intake and body weight have been reported, little is known about how these replacements affect diet quality. Objective: To simulate the effects of replacing SSBs with tap water on diet quality and total energy intake of Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) adults. Design: Retrospective analysis of cross-sectional dietary intake data using a representative sample of LMD adults (n=1,689). Diet quality was measured using the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005) scores that were computed using the population ratio method. The effects of substituting SSBs with water on diet quality were simulated by replacing the targeted items’ nutrient profile with tap water’s profile. Results: Simulating the replacement of SSBs with tap water at 25, 50, and 100% levels resulted in 1-, 2.3-, and 3.8-point increases, respectively, in the HEI-2005 total score. Based on a mean daily intake of 2,011 kcal, 100% substitution of SSBs with tap water would result in 11% reduction in energy intake. Conclusions: Replacing SSBs with water could substantially improve the diet quality of the LMD adult population and potentially lead to significant weight loss overtime. Prioritizing intervention efforts to focus on the replacement of SSBs with energy-free drinks may be the most efficacious approach for conveying potentially substantial health benefits in this and similar disadvantaged populations.
Keywords: added sugars; water; total energy intake; Southeastern United States
(Published: 17 October 2011)
Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2011, 55: 7304 - DOI: 10.3402/fnr.v55i0.7304
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