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Keywords:

  • caloric intake;
  • glycemic index;
  • liquid foods and satiety;
  • milk displacement;
  • sweetened beverages

Four mechanisms were reviewed to explain the possible association between sweetened beverages and increased overweight or obesity: excess caloric intake, glycemic index and glycemic load, lack of effect of liquid calories on satiety, and displacement of milk. The findings were inconsistent across studies. The strongest support was for the excess caloric intake hypothesis, but the findings were not conclusive. Assigning possible links between sweetened beverage consumption and adiposity requires research that compares and contrasts specific mechanisms, especially in populations at risk for obesity, while controlling for likely confounding variables.