Dietary sugar and body weight: have we reached a crisis in the epidemic of obesity and diabetes?: health be damned! Pour on the sugar.Diabetes Care. 2014 Apr; 37(4):950-6.DC
Sugar-sweetened drinks have been associated with several health problems. In the point narrative as presented below, we provide our opinion and review of the data to date that we need to reconsider consumption of dietary sugar based on the growing concern of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In the counterpoint narrative following our contribution, Drs. Kahn and Sievenpiper provide a defense and suggest that dietary sugar is not the culprit. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary surveys along with commercial Homescan data on household purchases were used to understand changes in sugar and fructose consumption. Meta-analyses and randomized clinical trials were used to evaluate outcomes of beverage and fructose intake. About 75% of all foods and beverages contain added sugar in a large array of forms. Consumption of soft drinks has increased fivefold since 1950. Meta-analyses suggest that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is related to the risk of diabetes, the metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. Drinking two 16-ounce SSBs per day for 6 months induced features of the metabolic syndrome and fatty liver. Randomized controlled trials in children and adults lasting 6 months to 2 years have shown that lowering the intake of soft drinks reduced weight gain. Recent studies suggest a gene-SSB potential relationship. Consumption of calorie-sweetened beverages has continued to increase and plays a role in the epidemic of obesity, the metabolic syndrome, and fatty liver disease. Reducing intake of soft drinks is associated with less weight gain.