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Nutrients. 2016 May 4;8(5). pii: E263. doi: 10.3390/nu8050263.

Plain Water and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in Relation to Energy and Nutrient Intake at Full-Service Restaurants.

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Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61820, USA.



Drinking plain water, such as tap or bottled water, provides hydration and satiety without adding calories. We examined plain water and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption in relation to energy and nutrient intake at full-service restaurants.


Data came from the 2005-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, comprising a nationally-representative sample of 2900 adults who reported full-service restaurant consumption in 24-h dietary recalls. Linear regressions were performed to examine the differences in daily energy and nutrient intake at full-service restaurants by plain water and SSB consumption status, adjusting for individual characteristics and sampling design.


Over 18% of U.S. adults had full-service restaurant consumption on any given day. Among full-service restaurant consumers, 16.7% consumed SSBs, 2.6% consumed plain water but no SSBs, and the remaining 80.7% consumed neither beverage at the restaurant. Compared to onsite SSB consumption, plain water but no SSB consumption was associated with reduced daily total energy intake at full-service restaurants by 443.4 kcal, added sugar intake by 58.2 g, saturated fat intake by 4.4 g, and sodium intake by 616.8 mg, respectively.


Replacing SSBs with plain water consumption could be an effective strategy to balance energy/nutrient intake and prevent overconsumption at full-service restaurant setting.


24-h dietary recall; added sugar; diet quality; energy intake; full-service restaurant; plain water; saturated fat; sodium; sugar-sweetened beverage

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