The university issued a sales ban on sugary beverages. Employees cut their consumption of these drinks by about 50%. After the study period finished, the group, on average lost weight and belly fat. The employees had improvements in their insulin resistance, too.
That said, the change did not impact their body mass index.
The study “is the first peer-reviewed study to examine whether a workplace sales ban on sugary drinks could lead to reduced consumption of the beverages and improve employee health,” according to The New York Times.
More University of California campuses intend to add similar policies to their workplaces, which promote drinking water rather than sugar drinks.
“This was an intervention that was easy to implement,” said Elissa Epel, an author of the study and director of the Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center, according to The New York Times. “It’s promising because it shows that an environmental change can help people over the long run, particularly those who are consuming large amounts of sugary beverages, and possibly even lead to a reduction in their risk of cardiometabolic disease.”
In a similar move, a study from the University of California, Berkeley, found that people drank 52% fewer servings of sugary drinks than they did before a sugar and soda tax passed in the city, according to a university statement.
The study showed that the study had benefits for families from all neighborhoods, according to a statement from Kristine Madsen, faculty director of the Berkeley Food Institute in UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health.
“This just drives home the message that soda taxes work,” said Madsen. “Importantly, our evidence comes from low-income and diverse neighborhoods, which have the highest burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, not to mention a higher prevalence of advertising promoting unhealthy diets.”