Comprehensive Data Review Shows Added Sugar Intake Directly Correlated Weight Gain

A Crucial topic of today's Science and Nutrition Research is related to the intake of carbohydrates, sugars and starches.

Trends in weight gain have paralleled dietary trends in the increased intake of added sugars, according to a review of 27 years of Minnesota Heart Survey. The data has been presented at an American Heart Association (AHA) event.

The AHA's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/
Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention 2011
Scientific Sessions took place in San Diego, California.

Higher consumption of added sugars
The researchers, from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, found that consumption of added sugars increased for men and women in all age groups from 1982 to 2009, according to the survey data, and trend were parallel to increases in body mass index (BMI).

Western Diet
Added sugar intake stabilized from February 2000 and September 2007 for both genders. During these periods, average BMI leveled off for women, also in parallel with a leveling off of their added sugar intake. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest contributor of added sugars in the Western diet.

Researchers in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, said: "Added sugars consumption increased over 20 years. Although it declined slightly after 2000-02, the consumption of added sugars remained high among the Minnesota residents studied."

Continued Increase of BMI
However, men's BMI continued to increase despite calories from added sugars falling by 10.5% in the September 2007 survey compared to the February 2000 survey. In the September 2007 survey, about 15.3% of men's daily calories came from added sugars, according to the data,but this still represents a 37.8% increase from 1980-82.

Women consumed 9.9% of their total calories from added sugars in 1980-82, which increased to 13.4% of total calories in 2007-09.

The review shows that across all years, women tended to consume fewer calories from added sugars than men, and younger adults tended to consume more calories from added sugars than older adults.

The Minnesota Heart Survey is a surveillance study of adults ages 25 to 74 living in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, and dietary added sugar intake was assessed by a 24-hour recall.

Commenting on the review the authors of the report noted: "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."

They added that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's report released last year found that there is not enough evidence to determine whether the relationship between added sugars and BMI is about extra calories, or about sugar consumption in itself.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest contributor of added sugars in the US diet. Current guidelines from the American Heart Association specify that calories coming from added sugars should be limited to about 100 per day for women and 150 per day for men in order to reduce heart disease risk, about five percent of total daily calorie intake.

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Tags: AHA., ASA, BMI, Minnesota, Nutrition, Research, Science, carbohydrates, heart, intake, More…starches, sugar


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Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a common metabolic disorder associated with abnormally high blood sugar levels. Diabetes is classified as either type 1 (T1DM), which is characterized by severely diminished insulin production, or type 2 (T2DM), which is characterized by moderately diminished insulin production in conjunction with insulin resistance (insensitivity of the tissues of the body to insulin). Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. Diabetes can seriously impair overall quality of life and may lead to multiple complications including heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, more than 245 million people have diabetes, with type 2 diabetes being the most prevalent.

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