To the Editor: In their Commentary, Drs Allison and Mattes1 suggested that current evidence does not support a relationship between nutritively sweetened beverages (NSBs) and adiposity and that no policy recommendations should be made to reduce NSB consumption. However, we believe that they misrepresented the evidence.
The authors characterized prospective epidemiologic studies as inconsistent by comparing an 8-year study of 51 603 women showing a robust positive relation between NSB consumption and weight gain (reference 1 in the Commentary) to a 6- to 12-month study of 1345 children aged 2 to 5 years with very low NSB consumption showing no significant association (reference 4). A systematic review concluded that there is a positive association between consumption of NSBs and weight gain.2 Adjustment for total energy intake accounted for the weight gain.
Malik VS, Willett WC, Hu FB. Nutritively Sweetened Beverages and Obesity. JAMA. 2009;301(21):2209-2211. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.743