According to a study published in March issue of Paediatrics, Children's Hospital Boston report that a novel intervention to limit consumption of sugary drinks -home deliveries of noncaloric beverages - had a beneficial effect on weight loss.
Cara Ebbeling, PhD, and David Ludwig, MD, PhD, in the hospital's Division of Endocrinology, led the randomized, controlled trial; enrolled 103 children aged 13 to 18 through a Boston area high school. The teens were offered a $100 mall gift certificate if they stuck with the six-month study and all did.
Half the teens, picked at random, received weekly deliveries of noncaloric beverages of their own choosing - bottled waters and artificially-sweetened drinks. The remaining teens, serving as a control group, were asked to continue their usual eating and drinking patterns.
"Sugary beverages have no nutritional value and seem to make a huge contribution to weight gain. People often get overwhelmed by nutrition advice and give up. We opted to study one simple, potentially high-impact behavior, and made it easy for adolescents to replace sugary drinks with noncaloric beverages," says Ebelling.
As a comment by the authors, "It should be relatively simple to translate this intervention into a pragmatic public health approach. For example, schools could make noncaloric beverages available to students by purchasing large quantities at low costs."