Researchers said that reduced intake of sugar will reduce body weight in adults, the effect is small but significant. the findings supported the international guidelines to cut sugar intake to reduce the global obesity epidemic.
The excessive intake of sugar in our diet will lead to a higher risk of chronic diseases and obesity. the intake of “free sugars” should be less than 10 percent of total energy intake, suggested by world health organization, but there is no agreed upper safe limit.
A team of researchers from Otago university and Riddet institute in New Zealand analyzed the results of 71 studies of sugar intake and body fatness to prove the association between the intake of sugar and body weight in both adults and children. They found that the low consumption of free sugar results in reduction of 0.8 kg and increased intake of sugar increased the body weight by 0.75 Kg. Analyzing this parallel effect researchers said that this is due to the altered energy intake, because if we replace sugar with other carbohydrates didn't make any change in weight.
The results are not consistent in children because they didn't follow the dietary advice properly. The risk of being obese is increased among children with highest intake of sugar sweetened beverages. The researchers said that there are many cause for obesity and it is unsurprising that the effect of reducing intake is relatively small but some or all of its effect may explain by some unmeasured factors
“the overall consistency of the findings, regardless of study type, is reassuring.” They also acknowledge that the extent to which population based advice to reduce sugars might reduce risk of obesity “cannot be extrapolated from the present findings, because few data from the studies lasted longer than ten weeks", the researchers said.
They concluded that “when considering the rapid weight gain that occurs after an increased intake of sugars, it seems reasonable to conclude that advice relating to sugars intake is a relevant component of a strategy to reduce the high risk of overweight and obesity in most countries.”
The study has been recently published on bmj.com.
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