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Cutting Sugar from Kids Diets Lowers Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar

When children's diets have less sugar, even if calories stay the same, markers of healthy metabolism such as cholesterol and blood pressure improve.
Cutting Sugar from Kids Diets Lowers Blood Pressure and Bloo...
M&Ms sugar junk food

Type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are now being diagnosed in many children, probably as a consequence of the obesity epidemic. Scientists have just discovered that removing much of the sugar from youngsters’ diets, even if calories and weight stay the same, has remarkable benefits for their metabolic health.

What the Researchers Did:

The 43 children in the study were 9 to 18 years old. They were obese youngsters with high blood pressure or cholesterol or fat accumulated in their livers.

In this experiment, the kids got diets with the same amount of calories they were accustomed to eating, but less sugar from soft drinks and sweets. There were no health foods, but there were low-sugar versions of junk food such as baked potato chips, pizza and turkey hot dogs. During the intervention, sugar made up only about 10 percent of the calories in their diets compared to about 28 percent before the study began.

What They Found:

Over 10 days, triglycerides, blood pressure and LDL cholesterol dropped significantly. Both blood sugar and insulin were lower as well.

Some Lost Weight, Too:

A few of the youngsters did lose weight because they didn’t feel hungry enough to eat all the food they had been given. But even the kids who lost no weight had metabolic benefits. This study demonstrates the damaging effects of sugar, especially fructose, in children’s diets.

Obesity, Oct. 26, 2015

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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