A daily sugar-sweetened beverage habit may increase the risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University report today in the Journal of Hepatology.
The researchers analyzed 2,634 self-reported dietary questionnaires from mostly Caucasian middle-aged men and women enrolled in the National Heart Lunch and Blood Institute (NHLBI Framingham Heart Study’s Offspring and Third Generation cohorts. The sugar-sweetened beverages on the questionnaires included caffeinated- and caffeine-free colas, other carbonated beverages with sugar, fruit punches, lemonade or other non-carbonated fruit drinks. The participants underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan to measure the amount of fat in the liver and the authors of the current study used a previously defined cut-point to identify NAFLD. They saw a higher prevalence of NAFLD among people who reported drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage per day compared to people who said they drank no sugar-sweetened beverages.