A study has been published in the journal Obesity showing that the health of a group of children who were already obese rapidly improved with sugar reduction, independent of whether their weight changed. The study looked at sugar consumption as well as other measures of metabolic consumption such as blood pressure.
Tracy Parker, our Heart Health Dietitian, said: “This study is interesting, but we need more research to confirm these findings. Previous studies have suggested that eating too much added sugar increases a person’s risk of development of the various diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, because of the link with excess calorie intake leading to obesity. However, this small and short-term study of 43 children found that removing added sugar from the diets of already obese Latino and African American children improved their metabolic health (lower BP, LDL cholesterol, and fasting glucose), without changing weight.
“Both adults and children on average are exceeding their recommended daily sugar intake so it’s important we continue to work as hard as we can to change our behaviour and meet these targets. Cutting down on food and drink with added sugars is a good place to start. Replace sugary drinks with water or sugar-free versions and instead of sweets, biscuits and chocolate, try healthier alternatives like fresh fruit and vegetables, unsalted nuts and seeds and plain popcorn.”
To find out more about what role sugar can play in your heart health, find out 6 things you didn't know about sugar.
We are currently campaigning for the government to introduce a sugary drinks tax. You can read more on our policy page.