SEOUL, Feb.12 (Korea Bizwire) – The results of a couple of recent Korean studies have shown that sugar intake derived from fruit and milk during adolescence doesn’t influence obesity.
A research team led by professors Kang Jae-hun and Heo Yang-im at Seoul Paik Hospital announced the results of their research after conducting a long-term study on 605 fourth graders over a period of four years (2008 to 2012). The results of the research were published in the latest issue of the international journal ‘Nutrients’.
To get a grasp of the status of the adolescents’ sugar intake, the research team required them to write a journal on what they ate. Anthropometry was investigated, body fat was measured, and blood tests were run in the same way in 2008 and in 2014. The team analyzed the sugar intake of the teens by dividing the sugar sources into specific categories such as milk, fruits, and sweet beverages.
The results showed that adolescents who had a higher intake of ‘total sugars’ through fruits showed an obesity index improvement, and the same correlation was observed in the follow up study after four years.
On the other hand, children who took in sugars through candy, chocolate, gum, jam, and processed beverages had a 2.8 times higher risk of having metabolic diseases such as neutral fat, blood sugar, and abnormal blood pressure. Total sugar is a term that includes natural sugars in foods as well as the sugar added when processing foods.
The research team commented that although sugar is a necessary energy source, excessive intake could cause obesity as well as metabolic diseases. “Fruits have high sugar levels, but they are also abundant in fiber and vitamins which means that those sugars have different effects on the human body compared to artificial sugars.”
They added that reducing total sugar intake could be effective in preventing obesity and metabolic diseases, but sorting out foods that contain the types of sugar that cause problems could be more helpful.
Another study conducted by professor Song Yoon-ju’s team at the Department of Food and Nutrition of Catholic University also revealed similar results when it was published in ‘Nutrients’.
Professor Song’s team analyzed the correlation of sugar intake and obesity among 2,599 adolescents who participated in five youth dietary surveys conducted between 2002 and 2011.
The results showed that the sugar intake of Korean adolescents was lower than youth in western countries.
The research also indicated that sugar in fruit has no effect on adolescent obesity. Another noticeable result was that sugar taken in by drinking milk also had nothing to do with obesity.
The results were more visible among female students, as the risk of obesity dropped to half among girls that ate more fruits and drank more milk,
Professor Song commented that though total sugar intake is important, the source of the sugar is the bigger issue. “Many people think that sweet fruits could cause obesity, but as the results of the study show, the international trend is that only the sugar in processed foods such as soft drinks, snacks and ice cream influence obesity.
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)