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Consuming Less Added Sugar reduces Body Weight Slightly

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credit: National Cancer Institute Renee Comet (Photographer) - PD

(Best Syndication News) - Reducing sugar intake may slightly lower body weight, according to a new study,. The researchers found sugar intake reductions helped reduce body weight by an average of 1.76 pounds. The study results were published online at bmj.com.

Previous research suggested that an excessive intake of sugar is related to obesity. One common finding: people who drank sugar-sweetened beverages were at an increased risk for becoming obese. However, the authors noted that some studies could not establish a significant link between sugared beverages and obesity.

The recommended amount of sugar intake of “free sugars,” or added sugars, should be limited to 10 percent of total calories for the day, according to the World Health Organization. Added sugars include corn syrup, sugar, honey, and fruit juices. Researchers from the University of Otago and the Riddet Institute in New Zealand investigated what the safe upper limit might be, but the safe upper limit has not been agreed upon.

To investigate, the researchers looked at 71 studies – 30 were randomized controlled trials and 41 were cohort studies. The studies all measured sugar intake and body fat composition in adults and children. They also measured body weight.

When the participants were instructed to consume less added sugar from their food, they weighed an average of 1.76 pounds less. Conversely, those instructed to consume more added sugars had an average weight gain of 1.65 pounds.

The researchers found children had a difficult time following the dietary advice and therefore did not have consistent results. They did find a risk factor for children becoming overweight or obese when they drank the most sugar-sweetened beverages compared to those who drank the least.

The researchers point out that very few of the studies lasted for longer than ten weeks, which makes it difficult to ascertain if consuming less sugar would reduce the risk of obesity. However, based on their research, they suggest reducing sugar intake is an applicable method of reducing the risk of becoming overweight or obese.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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