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Sugar-sweetened beverage, diet soda, and fatty liver disease in the Framingham Heart Study cohorts.

​Regular drinking of sugar-sweetened beverages may promote the development of fatty liver disease.

This study investigated the effect of high dietary ingestion of diet soda and sugar-sweetened beverages on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease risk. Researchers collated and analyzed data on the sugary drink intake and the incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease among 2,634 men and women recruited from the Framingham Health Study Cohort.

Researchers discovered that generous intake of sugar-sweetened beverages increased the risk of having non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, especially in overweight and obese individuals. On the other hand, regular drinking of diet soda did not have any significant effect on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease risk in this study The findings of this study indicate that habitual consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may contribute to the high incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the general population.

Research Summary Information

  • 2015
  • Ma J, Fox CS, Jacques PF, Speliotes EK3, Hoffmann U, Smith CE, Saltzman E, McKeown NM.
  • USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA, United States. NHLBI's Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA, United States; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States. University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, United States. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, United States. USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA, United States. Electronic address: nicola.mckeown@tufts.edu.
  • Yes, Free full text of study was found:
  • No. Source of funding disclosure not found
  • No. Potential conflicts disclosure not found
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  1. Peter Goldstein

That's great but I have to wonder what the chemicals in the artificially non-sweetened beverages like diet coke do to our bodies. Dr. Carney, are there studies showing the benefits of drinking enough water?

  1. Sean Carney    Peter Goldstein

Hello Peter,

Thanks for your observations. There are other studies that show drinking artificially sweetened beverages still leads to weight gain and other health problems. That was omitted from this study though. :-)

Also, there are studies about water. That is a great idea. We need to compile some of those. Thank you for the suggestion.


  Comment was last edited about 2 months ago by Sean Carney Sean Carney
  1. Peter Goldstein    Sean Carney

I expect water and hydration is important for so many reasons and something so many people need to know more about. Perhaps that could be the topic Dr. Carney could do a 3 to 5 - minute video on for the Hippocrates Docs Just 1 Thing 4 Health program. We will certainly be happy to have her video on any other WFPB topic she prefers.

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