For decades, nutritionists, dentists, and health experts have been warning about the negative consequences associated with diets high in sugar. However, considering that 75 percent of all Americans meet the qualifications as either overweight or obese, it’s reasonable to wonder how many people have been listening.
However, you don’t need Monroe dentist Dr. Travis Magelsen to tell you that the more sugar consumed as part of a daily diet, the harder it becomes to maintain your weight. Reason dictates that the more sugar you eat, the higher your calories intake, which requires additional time spent working out to prevent weight gain. But now a recent study has made the correlation between sugar consumption and weight gain even more apparent.
A study conducted by researchers at New Zealand’s University of Otago has found a direct link between a person’s weight and the amount of sugar they consume. Less sugar consumption ties directly to weight loss, while higher sugar consumption is linked with weight gain, according to the results of the study published in the journal BMJ.
While this study might not sound that groundbreaking, researchers were able to find a direct correlation between weight fluctuation that tied to either an increasing or decreasing of sugar consumption.
It’s helpful to think of it as a dial. Turn up the amount of sugar a person consumes and he or she will gain weight. Turn that dial down and the person loses weight. This correlation exists regardless of personal fitness habits, which means even if you don’t workout regularly, you can still generate weight loss by eating less sugar.
Previous studies that have attempted to link excessive consumption of sugary foods and drinks to obesity and a higher risk for the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease have proved inconclusive. However, now that researchers can directly linked weight gain to sugar consumption, it opens the door to proving that diseases linked to excessive weight gain can be attributed to the amount of sugar a person eats.
A Sweet Study
To gather these results, researchers analyzed data from 30 clinical trials and 38 additional studies that examined the link between sugar consumption and weight gain. The goal of the research was to find evidence that linked dietary sugars and body weight in children and adults.
For the last decade, the World Health Organization has stated that “free” sugar (sugars that are added to food or drink products) intake should not account for more than 10 percent of a person’s daily calorie intake. In comparison to this recommendation, a 2011 study found that teens in the U.S. receive over 20 percent of the daily calorie intake from added sugar.
In some of the studies researchers examined, participants were instructed to reduce their daily sugar intake. Those who complied showed slight weight loss. Over the course of these studies, which lasted for an eight-month period, participants lost an average of 1.7 pounds.
Conversely, study participants who increased their sugar intake over the course of the eight-month study had their weight increase by roughly the same amount.
Despite the modest weight loss found in the study, researchers are confident that serious weight loss could be achieved in the long-term by simply reducing free sugar intake.
The study also found that individuals who consumed the most sugar after the eight-month study were roughly 1.5 times more likely to be either overweight or obese when compared to those who ate the least amount of sugar.
Sugar & Your Oral Health
Not only does eating sugar hurt your waistline, sugar is also the primary contributor to tooth decay and gum disease. That’s because plaque, a sticky bacteria that grows in your mouth, uses sugar to produce harmful substances that slowly erode away your teeth’s enamel. The more sugar you eat on a daily basis, the more damage is done to the health of your teeth.
Cutting back on sugar consumption in one of the best ways patients of Monroe dentist Dr. Travis Magelsen can help to protect the long-term health of their teeth from the dangers of tooth decay, while also helping to keep themselves looking and feeling great. So with Halloween right around the corner, remember to limit how much sugar you consume now and the rest of the holiday season.