According to the findings of a new study carried out by researchers at the Touro University, California, and the University of California, San Francisco, cutting sugar intake of overweight kids can improve their health significantly even if their daily calorie intake is not reduced. According to the researchers carrying out the study, the improvement was observed within just 10 days.
Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig, the study’s lead author, said that the findings of this new study have clearly pointed out that sugar causes metabolic damages, not because its weight impact or the calories it contains. He said that the study has shown that sugar is harmful metabolically “because it’s sugar”. Dr. Lustig described the findings of the study as the strongest evidence obtained to date of the negative effects of sugar.
Metabolic syndrome is a health disorder marked by symptoms like abnormal blood cholesterol levels, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure. All these occur together and increase an individual’s chances of having stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
Earlier, metabolic conditions were observed only among adults, but nowadays they are also hitting children. Kids are developing different metabolic disorders including nonalcoholic fatty liver and type-2 diabetes.
During the study, researchers analyzed a total of 43 African-American and Latino children aged between 9 and 19 years. Each of these kids was obese and had a minimum of one metabolic disorder.
The researchers restricted the participants’ sugar intake for nine days. Their sugar intake was reduced from 28 to 10%, and their fructose intake was reduced from 12 to 4%. However, no change was made to their daily protein, fat and carbohydrate intake. Their daily calorie intake was also kept the same.
When the kids were examined after nine days, it was found that almost all aspects of their metabolic health have improved. The levels of bad cholesterol or LDL reduced by 10 points, triglycerides went down by 33 points, and diastolic blood pressure dropped by 5mm. That’s not all; the kids’ fasting blood glucose level reduced by 5 points and they also experienced significant improvements in their liver function.
Some of the participants also reported that when consuming the sugar-restricted diet they felt that they were getting overwhelmed with food.