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Research Updates | Obesity / Overweight

Urinary biomarkers of total sugars intake and measures of obesity

10 / 10 / 17

This study investigated associations of estimated sugar intake with odds of obesity in representative sample of 434 British adults from the 2005 Health Survey of England. Validated biomarkers* for total sugar intake were measured in 24 hour urine samples to estimate intake, and then linear and logistic regression analysis was used to identify associations with measures of obesity ( BMI, waist circumference (WC), waist: hip ratio (WHR) and obesity risk.

Estimated sugar intake was positively associated with BMI, WC and WHR. Estimated sugar intake was also correlated with increased odds for obesity using all three measures, however the strongest association was when using WHR as the obesity marker. This is the first time such as association has been found in a national sample using a validated biomarker and the authors suggest the biomarker could be used to measure the effects of interventions to reduce sugar intake.

*The biomarker measured was urinary fructose and sucrose, not glucose, as some is thought to cross the small intestine unchanged and excreted in the urine. Some questions still remain about the reliability and validity of this method to estimate dietary sugar intake.

Campbell R, Tasevska N, Jackson KG, Sagi-Kiss V et al. Association between urinary biomarkers of total sugars intake and measures of obesity in a cross-sectional study. PLOS One 2017