Researchers have zeroed in on the link between sugary beverages and weight gain, and now three new studies in the New England Journal of Medicine on Friday support the association and call the obesity epidemic "particularly frightening."

The Journal article notes, "The increase in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among both adults and children in the United States and other countries is considered a potential contributor to the obesity pandemic.Sugar intake from sugar-sweetened beverages alone, which are the largest single caloric food source in the United States, approaches 15% of the daily caloric intake in several population groups. Adolescent boys in the United States consume an average of 357 kcal of the beverages per day ... leading to higher risk for obesity and the development of type 2 diabetes."

"I know of no other category of food whose elimination can produce weight loss in such a short period of time. The most effective single target for an intervention aimed at reducing obesity is sugary beverages," Dr. David Ludwig from Boston Children's Hospital told Reuters Health.

Read the study in New England Journal of Medicine.

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