The associations between sugar sweetened beverage intake, satiety, and metabolic health in minority youth
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Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) and Hispanic children are at an increased risk of obesity and metabolic disease in the United States. Increasingly obesity is viewed as a multifaceted phenotype, beyond simply excess body weight. Research indicates that homeostatic mechanisms as well as hedonic systems are altered in obese individuals. The objective of this study was to examine how sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) intake, a highly modifiable dietary behavior, impacts both metabolic health and hedonic perceptions. This study is made up of three cross sectional analyses: the first two are secondary analyses of data from the University of Southern California, and the third was preformed at the University of Texas at Austin. The first examined the relationship between SSB intake, perceived hunger and satiety, and endocrine biomarkers in overweight and obese NHB and Hispanic adolescents (14-17 y). SSB intake of two servings or more per day was associated with decreased satiety and suppressed ghrelin compared to subjects that consumed one or less servings of SSB. The second examined the association between SSB intake, visceral fat accumulation (VAT), and cortisol awakening response (CAR) in a similar sample of 60 overweight and obese NHB and Hispanic adolescents (14-17y). SSB intake of two servings or more was associated with increased VAT and increased CAR compared to subjects that consumed one or less servings of SSB. The third examined the effect of SSB intake on reward pathways in the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), as well as how free-living dietary and dietary intake at an ad libitum meal impacts hunger and metabolic biomarkers in 41 overweight and obese Hispanic children (7-10 y). Although analysis of the fMRI data was uninterruptable, increased hunger and decreased satiety at an ad libitum meal was related to added sugar intake greater than 10% of the subject’s daily calories. In adolescents, SSB intake is associated with decreased feelings of fullness and an unfavorable metabolic profile. In young children, added sugar intake is associated with appetite independent of homeostatic factors.