Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in Relation to Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome among Korean Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study from the 2012-2016 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES)
It is well known that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) increases the risk of developing obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, there are not many studies investigating the link between SSBs and increased incidences of diseases in the Asian population, and in particular, in Korea. We explored the association of SSB consumption with the risk of developing obesity and MetS among Korean adults (12,112 participants from the 2012⁻2016 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey). We calculated the total SSB consumption frequency by counting each beverage item, including soda beverages, fruit juices, and sweetened rice drinks. Obesity was defined as a body mass index ≥25 kg/m², and MetS was defined using the National Cholesterol Education Program, Adult Treatment Panel III. A survey logistic regression analyses was conducted to examine the association of SSB consumption with obesity and MetS, adjusting for related confounders such as age, energy intake, household income, education, alcohol drinking, smoking status, and physical activity. The SSB consumption was positively associated with an increased risk of the prevalence for obesity (Odd ratio (OR): 1.60; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.23⁻2.09; p for trend = 0.0009) and MetS (OR: 1.61; 95% CI: 1.20⁻2.16; p for trend = 0.0003) among women. In men, SSB consumption only contributed to a higher prevalence of obesity (OR: 1.38; 95% CI: 1.11⁻1.72; p for trend = 0.0041). In conclusion, increased consumption of SSBs was closely linked with a higher prevalence of obesity and MetS in the Korean population.