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More Added Sugars, More Pounds?
Date:3/25/2011

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- As Americans' intake of sugars added to processed and home-cooked foods rises, so, too, does body weight, according to a study that followed Minnesota residents for 27 years.

"Added sugars and body weight are increasing concurrently," said Huifen Wang, a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, in Minneapolis. She will present her findings Thursday at an American Heart Association meeting in Atlanta.

While added sugars can't fully explain the expanding girths of Americans, it's a contributing factor, she said.

While other research has looked at sugar-sweetened beverages and their effect on weight and overall health, Wang wanted to look at added sugars -- what is added to foods during processing, preparation or at the table.

"There is limited data available looking at how added sugar intake is related to body-mass index (BMI),'' Wang said. For the study, she used data collected in the Minnesota Heart Survey, a surveillance study of adults aged 25 to 74 living in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. Dietary intake was evaluated by 24-hour recall.

The survey looked at diet, height and weight of the participants from 1980-82 through 2007-2009. Over the 27 years, intake of total carbohydrate and added sugars rose among both men and women, while total fat intake decreased.

Added sugar consumption rose by 51 percent in women from 1980-82 and 2000-2002 and then declined somewhat, according to the research. Men followed the same pattern.

The researchers noted that weight-gain patterns kept pace with national ebbs and flows in added sugar consumption: as intake rose, so too did the average BMI of both men and women. When sugar consumption leveled off, BMI leveled off in women, but not in men, the researchers said.

Overall, men consumed about 15.3 percent of daily calories
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