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Chinese researchers have found a link between sugar intake and major health issues.

Research Links Sugar Intake To Major Health Issues

According to a systematic review that was performed by Chinese researchers, it was found that dietary sugar intake is associated with several adverse health issues, such as weight gain and coronary heart disease.

Although many studies focused on the associations between sugar consumption and a range of health outcomes, factors like deficiencies in the study design, varying measurements, and inconsistent findings made drawing definitive conclusions difficult.

Researchers from the West China Hospital of Sichuan University have systematically searched extracted and analyzed large amounts of data from published systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the associations between dietary sugar consumption and various health outcomes.

Their data sources included PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the hand-searching of reference lists.

After analyzing 8,601 related research articles, they detected ‘significant harmful associations between dietary sugar consumption and 18 endocrine/metabolic outcomes.’

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Other harmful symptoms included 10 cardiovascular outcomes, seven cancer outcomes, and 10 other outcomes (neuropsychiatric, dental, hepatic, osteal, and allergic).

The results had been published in the British Medical Journal.

They pointed out that evidence for the harmful associations between sugar-sweetened beverages and changes in body weight, added sugars and ectopic fat accumulation, sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity in children, sugar-sweetened beverages and coronary heart disease, and sugar-sweetened beverages and depression seemed to be more reliable than that for other outcomes.

Meanwhile, evidence of the association between dietary sugar consumption and cancer remained limited but warranted further research.

The researchers recommended ‘reducing the consumption of free sugars or added sugars to below 25 grams per day (approximately 6 teaspoons per day) and limiting the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to less than one serving per week (about 200 to 355 ml per week).’

“To change sugar consumption patterns, especially for children and adolescents, a combination of widespread public health education and policies worldwide was urgently needed.”

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