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New Study Claims Cutting Out Sugar Can Improve a Child’s Health in 10 Days

New Study Claims Cutting Out Sugar Can Improve a Child’s Health in 10 Days

The National Institutes of Health claim that in just 10 days, kids will see a drastic improvement in their health if sugar is eliminated from their diet.

It’s no surprise that consuming too much sugar isn’t good for our health, and kids are particularly susceptible to eating and drinking too many sweet treats. The result is a rise in obesity rates among kids, as well as an increase in children with diabetes, high cholesterol, and other health issues.

But a new study financed by the National Institutes of Health and published Tuesday in the journal Obesity, found that the simple act of cutting back on your child’s sugar intake can improve their overall health in just 10 days, according to The New York Times.

Scientists removed foods with added sugar from a group of obese children’s diets and replaced them with other types of carbohydrates so that the subjects’ weight and overall calorie intake remained roughly the same. After 10 days, while the kids lost little to no weight, there were improvements in their blood pressure, cholesterol readings and other markers of health.

The findings seem to confirm that the calories from sugar can directly contribute to Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Benioff Children’s Hospital of the University of California, San Francisco.

“This paper says we can turn a child’s metabolic health around in 10 days without changing calories and without changing weight – just by taking the added sugars out of their diet,” he said. “From a clinical standpoint, from a health care standpoint, that’s very important.”

The sugars addressed in the study are added sugars, not the sugars found naturally in foods like fruit. On average, the subjects had been getting about 27 percent of their daily calories from sugar (the average American takes in about 15 percent). The children were paired with dieticians, who replaced any sugary foods in their diets with non-sugar substitutes. They also reduced sugary foods and replaced them with starchy foods without lowering body weight or calorie intake.

For example, instead of yogurt sweetened with sugar, the children ate bagels; in lieu of pastries, they were given baked potato chips; and instead of chicken teriyaki, which can contain a lot of sugar, they ate turkey hot dogs or burgers for lunch. The remaining sugar in their diet came mostly from fresh fruit.

On average, the subjects’ LDL cholesterol, the kind implicated in heart disease, fell by 10 points. Their diastolic blood pressure fell five points. Their triglycerides, a type of fat that travels in the blood and contributes to heart disease, dropped 33 points. And their fasting blood sugar and insulin levels also markedly improved.


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Author: Linda DiProperzio has written extensively on parenting issues for Parents, American Baby, Parenting, and Family Circle, among others. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons. See More

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