Beverage consumption and adult weight management: A review

Eat Behav. 2009 Dec;10(4):237-46. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2009.07.006. Epub 2009 Jul 16.


Total energy consumption among United States adults has increased in recent decades, and energy-containing beverages are a significant contributor to this increase. Because beverages are less satiating than solid foods, consumption of energy-containing beverages may increase energy intake and lead to weight gain; trends in food and beverage consumption coinciding with increases in overweight and obesity support this possibility. The purpose of this review is to present what is known about the effect of beverage consumption on short-term (i.e., meal) energy intake, as well as longer-term effects on body weight. Specific beverages addressed include water, other energy-free beverages (diet soft drinks, coffee and tea), and energy-containing beverages (soft drinks, juices and juice drinks, milk and soy beverages, alcohol). Existing evidence, albeit limited, suggests that encouraging water consumption, and substituting water and other energy-free beverages (diet soft drinks, coffee and tea) for energy-containing beverages may facilitate weight management. Energy-containing beverages acutely increase energy intake, however long-term effects on body weight are uncertain. While there may be health benefits for some beverage categories, additional energy provided by beverages should be compensated for by reduced consumption of other foods in the diet.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages*
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Drinking / physiology*
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Weight Gain / physiology
  • Weight Loss / physiology