Sugar Buzz - Health Effects - Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity and Diabetes

Studies on the link between sugars and diabetes are inconclusive, with some suggesting that eating excessive amounts of sugar does not increase the risk of diabetes, although the extra calories from consuming large amounts of sugar can lead to obesity, which may itself increase the risk of developing this metabolic disease. Other studies show correlation between refined sugar (free sugar) consumption and the onset of diabetes, and negative correlation with the consumption of fiber. These included a 2010 meta-analysis of eleven studies involving 310,819 participants and 15,043 cases of type 2 diabetes. This found that "SSBs (sugar-sweetened beverages) may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes not only through obesity but also by increasing dietary glycemic load, leading to insulin resistance, β-cell dysfunction, and inflammation". As an overview to consumption related to chronic disease and obesity, the World Health Organization's independent meta-studies specifically distinguish free sugars ("all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices") from sugars occurring naturally in food. The reports prior to 2000 set the limits for free sugars at a maximum of 10% of carbohydrate intake, measured by energy, rather than mass, and since 2002 have aimed for a level across the entire population of less than 10%. The consultation committee recognized that this goal is "controversial. However, the Consultation considered that the studies showing no effect of free sugars on excess weight have limitations."

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