nutrition workplace wellness

Adding Sugar Beverage to Healthy Meal? You Might Want to Hold Off

We recently reported on a report, titled “Support for Food and Beverage Worksite Wellness Strategies and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake Among Employed U.S. Adults,” that states: “Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption is high among U.S. adults and is associated with obesity.”

But what about pairing just one sugar-sweetened beverage to an otherwise healthy meal? MedPage Today reports that “The body may store more fat following a high-protein meal paired with a sugar-sweetened beverage, according to a new study.”

The study, published in BMC Nutrition, is titled “Postprandial energy metabolism and substrate oxidation in response to the inclusion of a sugar- or non-nutritive sweetened beverage with meals differing in protein content.”

The study’s background: “The macronutrient composition of the diet may play a more important role in maintaining a healthy body weight and preventing obesity than previously thought. The primary goal of this research was to determine the extent to which the simple addition of a small serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) to meals with different macronutrient compositions impacts appetite, energy metabolism and substrate oxidation.”

The results: “Increasing dietary protein decreased hunger and increased satiety… Increasing dietary protein also decreased the desire to eat something savory, salty and fatty and the males had a greater appetite for food with these taste profiles. Interestingly, there was no effect of sex, dietary protein or beverage type on the desire to eat something sweet. The inclusion of a SSB markedly suppressed (diet-induced thermogenesis) and fat oxidation (9.87 ± 11.09 g).”

The conclusion is clear: “Consumption of a SSB during a meal markedly reduces energy efficiency and fat oxidation independent of macronutrient composition.”

As we noted in the study on workplace wellness strategies around sugar sweetened beverages, that study concluded: “Almost half of employees supported increasing healthy options within worksites, although daily workday SSB consumers were less supportive of certain strategies. Lack of support could be a potential barrier to the successful implementation of certain worksite interventions.”

We wrote: In other words, well-run workplace wellness programs may have to provide additional incentives or encouragement for people who driving sugar sweetened beverages daily to switch.