Cutting most of the sugar from a child’s diet can immediately improve health, even if the diet still contains the same amount of calories and carbohydrates as before, a study from the University of California, San Francisco, suggests. The authors reported dramatic differences in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and other signs of metabolic syndrome, a condition that increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
The objective of study team led by Pediatrician Robert Lustig, M.D., was to determine whether sugar itself – not excess calories – is responsible for the risks to health that constitute metabolic syndrome.
After the nine days with less sugar, the findings were impressive. The kids’ LDL (“bad”) cholesterol had dropped by 10 points, their diastolic (the bottom number) blood pressure fell by five points, their triglycerides declined by 33 points. The investigators further reported that the kids’ fasting blood sugar and insulin levels, both of which can signal diabetes risk, also improved.
These findings certainly suggest that sugar is responsible for increased risk of metabolic syndrome in obese kids,and people would do well to follow dietary guidelines that encourage them to limit sugar intake and eat more fruits and vegetables
SOURCES: Robert Lustig, M.D., MSL, pediatric endocrinologist, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco; Jeffrey Mechanick, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E., F.A.C.N., E.C.N.U., clinical professor and director, metabolic support, division of endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease, Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, New York City; Oct, 27, 2015, statement, The Sugar Association; Oct. 27, 2015, Obesity, online