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Sugar and weight gain: Evidence mounts

Posted by: Colleen Stoxen Updated: January 15, 2013 - 6:38 PM

Eating less sugar is linked with weight loss, and eating more is linked with weight gain, according to a new review of published studies.

People who cut down on added sugars in their diets lost an average of about 1.7 pounds – a result researchers called small but significant.

The review lends support to the idea that advising people to limit the sugar in their diets may help lessen excess weight and obesity, the New Zealand researchers conclude.

"The really interesting finding is that increasing and decreasing sugar had virtually identical results [on weight], in the opposite direction of course," says researcher Jim Mann, DM, PhD, professor of human nutrition and medicine at the University of Otago.

The result was published online Tuesday in the British Medical Journal. The World Health Organization commissioned the review as it plans to update its 2003 recommendation that free sugar be limited to less than 10 percent of energy intake.

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