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Reduction of Sugar Intake Effective in Combating Obesity

Update Date: Jan 16, 2013 05:48 AM EST

Controlling sugar intake reduces body weight and even if the amount of reduction is small during the weight loss regime, every single loss counts, say researchers.

In a paper published in the BMJ website, the researchers found that cutting on sugar intake reduces body weight by 0.8 kg. This also substantiates the data published by the World Health Organization, in which it was suggested that an individual should consume less than 10 percent of 'free sugars'.

An individual can ingest sugar mainly in two forms. It is either added artificially to food like artificial sweeteners, or it can be a part of the food, present naturally, like honey.

The research was done by researchers at the University of Otago and the Riddet Institute in New Zealand.

For this research, data on the results of 71 studies were analyzed. Out of them, 41 were cohort studies and 30 randomized controlled trials. The studies were based on the sugar consumption and fat content of the body. This was to gather proof of the relationship between the consumption of free sugars and body weight in both adults and children.

It was observed that when asked to reduce the intake of free sugars, there was an average loss of 0.8 kg in 8 months, while an increase of free sugars in the diet also increased the body weight by an average of 0.75 kg during the same period of time.

It was also observed that when sugar was substituted by another form of carbohydrate, there was no marked change in body weight. This led the scientists to believe that the difference had probably been in the form of carbohydrates being taken from the body, and the energy present in those carbohydrates.

Since there are many factors that affect, increase and control obesity overall, the relatively low effect of sugar intake reduction is not surprising, the author said in the paper. However, they found the overall consistency of the findings, regardless of the study type, reassuring.

The study might help in understanding diet better. It will also help the dietician to keep in mind the type of carbohydrates that are recommended in the diet.

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