How much sugar is too much? Study offers new insight

Scientists have found more evidence to support the 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation that you should limit your intake of added sugar to six teaspoons per day.

In a study published Wednesday in the medical journal The BMJ, researchers from China and the United States Laundry list with negative results Asthma, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, depression, some cancers, and death are strongly associated with sugar consumption.

“Our comprehensive review showed an adverse association between sugar intake and various cardiometabolic diseases,” the study’s authors wrote. Contains sugar. “

Doctors and scientists have known for decades that too much sugar can be detrimental to your health in many ways.

That knowledge led the World Health Organization to first recommend in 1989 to reduce free sugar intake to less than 10% of total daily energy intake. , which is equivalent to about 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.

Free sugars, also called added sugars, are naturally occurring in glucose, fructose, sucrose, table sugar, and honey, syrups, fruit juices, and juice concentrates added to foods and beverages by manufacturers, cooks, or consumers. contains sugars These sugars are also often “hidden” in processed foods, such as ketchup, which is one tablespoon of sugar plus one teaspoon.

When the WHO made its 6 teaspoon recommendation in 2015, the evidence supporting the recommendation was limited, much of it from studies that had not been scrutinized for quality, accuracy and consistency. As such, the organization has made its recommendations “conditional.”

Now, thanks to the researchers behind the latest BMJ study, experts have the data they need to make firm recommendations.

The team reviewed 73 meta-analyses (including 67 meta-analysis observational studies and 6 randomized controlled trials) from 8,601 articles covering 83 health outcomes in adults and children.a meta-analysis is a statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies to look for large-scale trends.

They found a “significant adverse association” between added sugar and glandular and metabolic outcomes such as diabetes, gout and obesity. cardiovascular outcomes such as hypertension, heart attack, and stroke; cancer outcomes such as breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer;

“Finally, adverse associations between sugar intake and all-cause mortality, childhood asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, bone mineral density, tooth decay and erosion, depression (and) non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. existed,” the authors say. I have written.

They also found that sugary drinks such as sodas, juices, sports drinks, and energy drinks were the largest source of sugar in many people’s diets, suggesting that sugary drinks should be consumed once a week. It is recommended to limit consumption to less than one cup.

Because their findings were largely based on data from observational and low-quality studies, the authors suggested that scientists should use more randomized studies to better understand the relationship between sugar and specific diseases. The overall message is clear, however.

“Excessive dietary sugar intake is generally more harmful than beneficial to health, especially in cardiometabolic disease,” they wrote.

“Evidence for an association between sugar intake and cancer is still limited, but more research is needed.”

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