Latest News » New study finds less sugar can improve children’s health in 10 days

A new study found that reducing sugar content in a child's diet can improve blood pressure and cholesterol in 10 days.

Too much sugar is a known danger in diets, but a recent study published in the journal Obesity found that it may be more of a threat than we think.

Doctors and scientists have long debated the true source of health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure, whether they come directly from sugar or from obesity caused by its consumption but the new study, funded by the National Institute of Health, argues that it has settled that debate. The study found that removing sugar-heavy foods from a child's diet can improve his or her health in as little as 10 days. 

To find how sugar affects the health and weight of children, researchers at the Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco adjusted the daily diets of 43 children age 9 to 18 struggling with weight and high blood pressure. After 10 days of substituting sugary content in the children's diets with other types of carbohydrates, to maintain the same caloric intake and weight, the research team observed no weight loss in the patients but did see that their blood pressure and cholesterol were vastly improved.

For this study, the daily added sugar content in the children's diets was reduced from 28 to 10 percent of their daily calories, a number that was recommended by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in February of this year. The study raises some concerns about how detrimental the added sugar content in some of children's favorite foods, like cereal, can be. 

"…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," Dr. Robert Lustig, the study's lead author, said in an interview with the New York Times.

The conclusion drawn from the study, then, is that weight isn't always the leading risk factor in health complications like the metabolic disease that can lead to Type 2 diabetes, and that these diseases possibly have much more to do with the amount of sugar consumed in a diet.

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