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Sugar and Weight Loss, Weight Regulation
High Sugar Content of Diet Did Not Adversely Affect Weight Loss Metabolism or Blood Fats
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Sugar & Weight Loss

In response to evidence linking obesity and high amounts of dietary fat, the food industry has developed numerous reduced-fat and non-fat food items. These items frequently derive a relatively large percentage of their energy from sugars and the effect of these sugars on weight loss and regulation is not well known.

We studied the comparative effects of high- and low-sucrose, low-fat, hypo-energetic diets on a variety of metabolic and behavioral indexes in a 6-wk weight-loss program. Both diets contained approximately 4606 kJ energy/day with 11 percent of energy as fat, 19 percent as protein, and 71 percent as carbohydrate. The high-sucrose diet contained 43 percent of the total daily energy intake as sucrose; the low-sucrose diet contained 4 percent of the total daily energy intake as sucrose.

Twenty women aged 40.6 years with a body mass index (in kg/m2) of 35.93 consumed the high-sucrose diet; 22 women aged 40.3 years with a body mass index of 34.93 consumed the low-sucrose diet. Mixed-design analysis of variance showed a main effect of time, with both diet groups showing decreases in weight, blood pressure, resting energy expenditure, percentage body fat, free triiodothyronine (FT3), urinary norepinephrine, and plasma lipids.

Small but significant interactions were found between group and time in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Both groups showed decreases in depression, hunger, and negative mood, and increases in vigilance and positive mood with time. Results showed that a high sucrose content in a hypoenergetic, low-fat diet did not adversely affect weight loss, metabolism, plasma lipids, or emotional affect.

Source: Surwit RS, Feinglos MN, McCaskill CC, Clay SL, Babyak MA, Brownlow BS, Plaisted CS, Lin PH. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

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