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The Risk of Youth Obesity and Liquid Sugar

20 July 2020


Background: Obesity in adolescents may be significantly impacted by sugar sweetened beverages. The same adiposity level is not observed consuming other types of sugar and reducing sugar sweetened beverages help reduce obesity levels worldwide. Researchers in Australia, Denmark, Canada, and the United States have studied the impact of specific types of added sugar and analyzed its impacts on child obesity. A relationship exists between obesity and several health complications, and specific diet choices may decrease adiposity. This appraisal focuses on the effects of specific consumed sugar types on associated adiposity in children.

Methods: An exhaustive literature search was performed using the following search engines: MEDLINE-PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library, and the following search terms: solid and liquid and sugar and obesity. Relevant references within the selected studies were also assessed. Studies were included if they were published within the last 10 years and included populations with children that contained obesity markers specific to included added solid sugars and added liquid sugars. Another inclusion criteria was that publications were available in English. Studies were excluded if researchers provided reference markers that were not directly focused on obesity markers (eg, studies with similar methods measuring insulin resistance and glucose sensitivity) or if the sample was not specific to children.

Results: The initial search strategy yielded 99 results from the listed databases. Screening for the target sample demographic yielded 4 appropriate studies. The combined overall quality of the studies is unclear as the demographic sample could include confounders and all studies were subject to possible recall bias. Each of the included studies demonstrated an increase in obesity with the consumption of liquid sugar. Two studies were able to display a further physical marker of obesity with increased weight circumference upon the addition of 10 g liquid sugar intake that was not observed upon the consumption of solid sugar.

Conclusion: This clinical appraisal concluded that added liquid sugar produces an increased impact to adiposity than other types of sugars. These findings suggest a possible starting foundation for improving child obesity markers applying incremental change through specific added liquid sugar removal from the diet.

Keywords: Solid and liquid sugar and youth obesity


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20 Jul 2020
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