New Sugared Drink Study Findings, The Science of Sugar Addiction, and What You Can Do

Almost 70% of Participants Saw a Decrease in Waist Size, as Average Sugary Drink Consumption Nearly Halved

A workplace ban on the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages led to a 48.5 percent average reduction in their consumption and significantly less belly fat among 202 participants in a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). 

Elissa Epel, PhD, lead author of the 10-month study that looked at positive health effects associated with reducing sugary beverages intake. By the end of the 10-month study, the participants who had reduced their intake of sugary beverages, like sodas, sports drinks and sweetened teas, also tended to show an improvement in insulin resistance and lowered total cholesterol.  

This shows us that simply ending sales of sugary drinks in the workplace can have a meaningful effect on improving health in less than one year

Elissa Epel, PhD

UCSF Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center Director 

“This shows us that simply ending sales of sugary drinks in the workplace can have a meaningful effect on improving health in less than one year,” said lead author Elissa Epel, PhD, UCSF professor of psychiatry and director of the UCSF Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center. “There is a well-known pathway from soda to disease. High sugar intake leads to abdominal fat and insulin resistance, which are known risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even dementia. Recent studies have also linked sugar intake to early mortality.”

New York Times article on UCSF Sugar Ban by Anahad O'Connor. (Click to enlarge)




The study, which publishes in the Oct. 28, 2019, issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, had begun in the period before UCSF ended the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages across all of its campus sites and medical facilities in 2015. The participants, who were all UCSF employees, were assessed again 10 months after the sales ban had begun.

Read The UCSF Press Release Here


 Sugar Toolkit 

More resources on sugar and it's related health conditions. 

UCSF Sugar Science is designed as an authoritative source for the scientific evidence about sugar and its impact on health. Developed by a team of health scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the site reflects an exhaustive review of more than 8,000 scientific papers that have been published to date, with a focus on the areas where the science is strongest – specifically, on diabetesheart disease and liver disease

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