Research: Sugar-sweetened beverages increase postpartum weight gain


Beverages with added sugar are not so sweet on your waistline after childbirth.

Cold glass of soda drink
Cold glass of soda drink

Weight gain after childbirth is a huge problem for many women. The baby and breastfeeding ramp up your metabolism and you add some weight to keep the baby safe. Anything you can do to limit post-delivery weight gain and to lose some of the weight gained would be a huge benefit for every mother who wants to remain healthy.

A new study from 2020 looked at beverages sweetened with sugar and their potential impact on a mother’s weight after delivery​[1]​. The study was performed on Hispanic women, but it would not expect to be any different in other ethnic groups. The study used data from a California based research project called the Mother’s Milk Study. The researchers collected snakes and weight of mothers at 1 and 6 months postpartum.

The results of the study revealed that higher intakes of added sugar was associated with increased weight gain. In particular, it is high glycemic intake of the sweetened beverages that is tied to decreased weight loss and increased weight gain after pregnancy. The research also found that this effect was reduced by fiber intake, but not as much as just not drinking the soda.

The bottom line: This study should be one more brick in the wall to block you from buying beverages sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Increased consumption was tied to a higher weight at 6 months post-pregnancy.


  1. [1]
    T. L. Alderete et al., “Added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with increased postpartum weight gain and soluble fiber intake is associated with postpartum weight loss in Hispanic women from Southern California,” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jun. 2020, doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqaa156. [Online]. Available:
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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