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Randomised controlled trial
Children gain less weight and accumulate less fat when sugar-free, non-caloric beverages are substituted for sugar-sweetened beverages
  1. Rachel K Johnson
  1. Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Rachel K Johnson
    Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, The University of Vermont, 225B Marsh Life Sciences, 109 Carrigan Building, Burlington, VT 05405, USA; Rachel.Johnson{at}

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Commentary on: de Ruyter JC, Olthof MR, Seidell JC, et al. A trial of sugar-free or sugar-sweetened beverages and body weight in children. N Engl J Med 2012;367:1397–406.


Childhood obesity is one of the world's most pressing public health challenges.1 Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) have been associated with childhood overweight.2 These beverages are the number one source of calories in children's diets in the USA3 and are especially problematic because they are void of critical nutrients and elicit weak satiety responses.4 However, studies linking SSBs with obesity have been largely observational and thus have not established cause and effect. Data from randomised controlled trials demonstrating the definitive effect of SSBs on …

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