March 28, 2011

Added Sugars to Blame for Weight Gain?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new study reveals an increased consumption of added sugars coincided with weight gain in adults.

Researchers assessed added sugars intake and body weight patterns over 27 years by using data collected in the Minnesota Heart Survey. They found in a 2007-09 survey, men consumed about 15.3 percent of their daily calories from added sugars. This was a 37.8-percent increase from 1980-82. Added sugars intake in women changed from 9.9 percent of total calories in 1980-82 to 13.4 percent of total calories in 2007-09.

Results showed added sugars intake increased along with BMI levels in both men and women. Added sugars consumption leveled off between 2000-02 and 2007-09. Average BMI readings also leveled off in women, which paralleled their added sugars intake. However, BMI readings continued to rise in men while calories consumed from added sugars declined.

"Added sugars consumption increased over 20 years," Huifen Wang, M.S., lead author of the study, was quoted as saying. "Although it declined slightly after 2000-02, the consumption of added sugars remained high among the Minnesota residents studied. Although other lifestyle factors should be considered as an explanation for the upward trend of BMI, public health efforts should advise limiting added sugar intake."

The American Heart Association recommends no more than half of a person's daily discretionary calories should come from added sugars. Discretionary calories are "left over" after you have consumed the recommended types and amounts of foods that you need to meet nutrient requirements. Women should consume no more than 100 calories of added sugars per day, and most men should consume no more than 150 calories of added sugars per day.

SOURCE: The American Heart Association's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention 2011 Scientific Sessions, March 23, 2011