The idea that reducing the intake of sugar in a child’s diet will help them become healthier is not a novel one, by any means. Sugar has long been identified as one of the main factors behind the increased number of obese and overweight people in the U.S. and the largest part of the developed world.
One question that has been more or less unanswered is whether sugar itself is bad for our bodies or whether this has to do with the fact that weight gain almost invariably follows a diet particularly high in sugary foods. Well, according to a new study, it seems that sugar itself is quite bad for you, regardless of how fat you are.
The study was published in the Obesity Research journal and it was funded by the National Institute for Health, USCF Clinical & Translational Science Institute and Touro University. The authors of the study declared no conflict of interest (always important in such studies) and they came to some very interesting conclusions.
The subjects of the study were a group of 16 African-American and 27 Latin-American children who were obese and exhibited one or more risk factors, such as hypertension, excess body fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol and high blood sugar levels. In addition to this, the children got about 27 percent of their daily calorie intake from sugar, mostly soda and other sugary drinks. Just for comparison, the average portion of daily calorie intake for sugar is 15 percent in the United States.
The next step was quite simple – removing sugar from their diets, reducing it to 10 and 4 percent of total calories ingested daily. The “sugar calories” were replaced by starch calories.
The study was conducted for 9 days only, but even in that short time, the improvements to children’s health were very obvious and noticeable – their LDL cholesterol levels dropped by 10 points, their triglycerides reduced 33 points and their diastolic blood pressure decreased by 5 points. Insulin levels and fasting blood sugar levels were also greatly improved.
The official conclusion of the study said the following:
“Isocaloric fructose restriction improved surrogate metabolic parameters in children with obesity and metabolic syndrome irrespective of weight change.”
In short, the study showed, unequivocally that sugar itself is bad and that the stories spun by manufacturers of sugary foods and beverages how it all has to do with excess weight are complete nonsense.