A calorie is simply a unit of energy and the calories we take in provide the energy our bodies need. But are all calories created equal? Maybe not. According to a new study, calories from sugar-sweetened beverages can have a unique effect on our health, increasing our risk for chronic health problems like heart disease and diabetes, even when they don’t lead to weight gain.
For this study, 22 nutrition researchers involved in the 2017 CrossFit Foundation Academic Conference conducted an extensive review of studies examining the effects of caloric intake on obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease risk. They determined that calories from sugary drinks like soda have a greater effect on these risks than calories from starches and other carbohydrates.
Another surprising finding of this study is that the sugar substitute aspartame does not appear to increase obesity risk in adults, despite the common belief that it can lead to weight gain. The research was published in Obesity Reviews.