Research Updates | Obesity / Overweight
In response to a commentary by Lustig et al, Weichselbaum explores the latest evidence behind the claims; sugar is toxic, sugar causes obesity and excessive sugar consumption induces all of the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome.
Two recent scientific reviews found insufficient evidence to support a link between total sugar intake and obesity. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake may however increase the risk.
Further these reviews found no link between sugar intake and high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, heart disease or cancer. Most studies have not found any adverse effects at intakes of added sugar up to 20-25% of energy, provided a healthy body weight is maintained.
In pinpointing fructose in particular, the response suggests commentary from Lustig is based predominantly on animal based trials or trials where participants receive high doses of fructose. These trials, whilst provide an insight into metabolism, do not reflect real life scenarios therefore are difficult to associate with the current chronic disease pandemics.