United Press International: Teenagers who eat a diet high in sugar — mainly due to sweetened drinks — may have a higher risk of heart disease later in life, U.S. researchers suggest.
Study author Jean Welsh, a nurse who is a postdoctoral fellow in pediatric nutrition at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, says overweight or obese teens with the highest levels of added sugar intake had increased signs of insulin resistance — often a precursor to diabetes.
“Adolescents are eating 20 percent of their daily calories in sugars that provide few if any other nutrients,” Welsh says in a statement. “We know from previous studies the biggest contributors of added sugars to the diet are sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, fruit-flavored drinks and sweetened coffees and teas.”
The study of 2,157 teens ages 12-18, published in the National Health and Nutrition Survey, found the average daily consumption of added sugars was 28.3 teaspoons or 476 calories — 21.4 percent of their total calories.
Teens who consume the highest levels of added sugars had lower levels of high-density lipoprotein levels, the “good” cholesterol, and higher levels of triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins, the “bad” cholesterol.
Dr. Jonny Comments: Look for all the big soda companies to spin this in the usual way: “no one food causes obesity”, “soda can be part of a healthy diet”, “consumers have the freedom to choose what they want” and all the other same old corporate PR claptrap designed to take the focus off the single, politically incorrect truth which is that sugar is the major culprit in the American diet and they’re in the business of selling sugar water.
I see this latest study as one more blow to the “fat causes heart disease” hypothesis (known technically as “the lipid hypothesis”), as we begin to confront the fact that consuming a high-glycemic diet contributes to every one of the major causes of death on the planet.
Cutting back on sugar- from all sources, but especially from processed carbs and soda- might be one of the most important action steps you can take to improve your health immediately.