BREAKING NEWS
She didn’t win the Bachelor, but Naz has won in the boxing ring ... Read more
Close

Scientists confirm sugar is a diet evil

NICOLE PRYOR
Last updated 12:45 16/01/2013
sugar diet

SWEET EVIL: A just-in comprehensive NZ medical study confirms that cutting down on sugar will help you lose weight.

Relevant offers

Well & Good

Pushing multiple sclerosis off a mountain Surviving addiction: 'This disease has hurt my kids' This week we tried: Little Bird's 5-day raw meal plan Forget your foam roller and buy a vibrator and other lessons learnt by Tim Ferriss 4 surprising ways your height affects your health Can eating fat help you lose weight? Let's look at the ketogenic diet Should you take nutrition advice from your personal trainer? Australian researchers are a step closer to a peanut allergy vaccine Stress as a killer: Is it all in the mind? 10 things you need to know about iron

Major research published today has provided compelling backing for claims that dieters weaning themselves off sugar will see their waistlines shrink.

An Otago University-led study into the effects of sugar, published in the British Medical Journal, found cutting down on the sweetener would see a "small but significant" reduction in body weight.

The study, commissioned by the World Health Organisation, says battling sugary diets should be part of a global strategy to tackle the obesity epidemic.

Researchers examined 8000 trials and 10,000 observational studies published internationally up to December 2011.

They then analysed nearly 70 studies which specifically looked at sugar's effect on body weight.

They found that by cutting down sugar intake over a medium term, an adult could lose 0.8 kilograms.

Increasing sugar intake over the same period could lead to a 0.75kg increase in weight.

The research found that for children the results were less consistent because they were less likely to stick to a strict diet regime, but those who guzzled sugary drinks were much more likely to be overweight.

Dr Lisa Te Morenga, one of the authors of the research, said it made sense to cut back on sugar.

"It seems easier to over-eat if your diet includes lots of sugary foods and drinks," she said.

"When you overeat you gain weight."

Though the perils of sugar have enjoyed a lot of attention in recent years, Te Morenga said this was one of the first studies to offer compelling evidence.

"There have been a lot of claims in the media about the dangers of sugar, but it hasn't really been backed up by a lot of strong research," she said.

One scientific article was released last year by a US pediatrician about the toxic nature of sugar, but it was very theoretical, she said.

"[Other] research was based on very short-term studies in humans who are fed a lot of sugar, or animal studies," said Te Morenga.

"So when you look at really strong, sound evidence showing sugar intakes at levels that people might actually eat, there is not a lot of strong evidence there."

She said the research could be used by the World Health Organisation to shape food policy.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Comments

Recipe search

Special offers
Opinion poll

Do you believe eating superfoods makes you healthier?

Yes, I feel so much better when I eat them.

No, it's all a con.

I don't know, I can't afford them.

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content