Special journal issue focuses on beverages and health

May 24, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University health researchers are partnering with other experts to better understand the role that beverages, such as sweetened, dairy, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks, play in the daily diet.

"People consume beverages for a number of reasons - quenching thirst, fueling the body with nutrients or enjoyment," said Richard D. Mattes, Purdue professor of foods and nutrition. "There are benefits, such as providing essential nutrients, and there are risks, such as taking in unneeded energy. We strive to find a balance and a better understanding, especially as our nation struggles with an obesity epidemic."

A series of articles are featured in the Physiology & Behavior journal's special issue Beverages and Health that was published last month. The researchers focused on caffeinated, sweetened, dairy, alcoholic and meal-replacement beverages.

The articles were presented and discussed at the Ingestive Behavior Research Center international symposium in September 2009. The center, which is housed at Purdue, promotes the interdisciplinary study of the controls and consequences of ingestive behavior.

"A better understanding of the relative benefits and concerns related to beverage consumption should aid the development of rational clinical and public health policies to educate and guide consumers toward healthful food choices," said Mattes, who also edited the journal's special issue. "The issues are complex as all beverages help with hydration, many provide important nutrients, such as calcium and protein, and some are sources of promising phytochemicals. So beverages may mitigate prevalent disorders such as osteoporosis, sarcopenia and certain cancers while, at the same time, many contribute energy to a population struggling with being overweight and obesity. Finding the most healthful balance should be our goal and was the motivation for the symposium."

The article topics and authors are:

* "Patterns of Beverage Use Across the Lifecycle." Barry M. Popkin, the Carla Smith Chamblee Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

* "The Shifting Beverage Landscape." Maureen Storey, director and research professor at the Center for Food, Nutrition and Agriculture Policy at the University of Maryland.

* "Thirst and Hydration: Physiology and Consequences of Dysfunction." Simon N. Thornton, professor at the Université Henri Poincaré in Nancy, France.

* "Hunger and Thirst: Issues in Measurement and Prediction of Eating and Drinking." Richard D. Mattes, professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue.

* "The Influence of Beverage Composition on Delivery of Phenolic Compounds from Coffee and Tea." Mario G. Ferruzzi, associate professor of food science at Purdue.

* "Green Tea Catechins, Caffeine and Body Weight-Regulation." M.S. Westerterp-Plantenga, professor from Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

* "Sugar-sweetened Beverages and Risk of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: Epidemiologic Evidence." Frank B. Hu, professor of medicine and nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard University, and Vasanti S. Malik, doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard University.

* "High-intensity Sweeteners and Energy Balance." Susan E. Swithers, Purdue professor of psychological sciences; Ashley A. Martin, Purdue graduate research assistant; and Terry L. Davidson, Purdue professor of psychological sciences.

* "Role of Dairy Beverages in the Diet." Connie M. Weaver, head and distinguished professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue.

* "Dairy Beverages and Energy Balance." Arne Astrup, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Jo-Anne Gilbert and Janne K. Lorenzen. Astrup, Chaput and Lorenzen are from the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Gilbert is from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada.

* "Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health. "Arthur L. Klatsky, senior consultant with the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Oakland, Calif.

* "Alcohol, Appetite and Energy Balance: Is Alcohol Intake a Risk Factor for Obesity?" Martin R. Yeomans, professor from the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom.

* "Meal Replacements and Energy Balance." Steven B. Heymsfield, executive director of ?Merck & Co. Inc. in Rahway, N.J.

The National Institutes of Health, an award from the American Society for Nutrition, the Phyllis Izant Fund and Purdue University funded this project. The center is planning another symposium for September 2011.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Richard D. Mattes, 765-494-0662, mattes@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: Journalists interested in specific articles can contact Amy Patterson Neubert, Purdue News Service, at 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu