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Science Briefs

Public health policies should focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a moderate caloric intake, rather than targeting fructose in the diet. This is the conclusion of two recent publications by researchers from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, which look at the scientific basis behind claims that fructose is toxic. This Science Brief is based on those publications.
The direct effects of drinking beverages with added sugar or other caloric sweeteners on bodyweight are difficult to discern. A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials, published in the journal Obesity Reviews, calls for further robust research into the effect of reducing intake of such beverages by overweight individuals.
High consumption of soft drinks sweetened with sugar has been viewed as a cause of obesity. However, data from a longitudinal UK study, does not support this association.

Slimmers don’t need to cut sugar out of their diets claims new research from Scotland, where 60% of adults are overweight or obese.

A new US study shows that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) used to sweeten certain beverages has a similar impact on hunger and satiety as sucrose.

Critics of sugar-containing foods claim that high sugar diets contain inadequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. This is sometimes called a ‘nutrient dilution’ effect. However, a new review has questioned whether there is enough evidence to say this.
There will soon be no more bitter pills to swallow, thanks to new research by Leeds scientists: a spoonful of sugar will be all we need for our bodies to make their own medicine.

It has long been suspected that a high sugar diet over a long term period may lead to an increased risk of developing diabetes. But there has been little or no evidence to support this idea, with studies on the role of any aspect of the diet in the development of diabetes difficult to conduct.
In a recent review, researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK, closely examined the widely claimed link between obesity and addiction. They demonstrated that the evidence for food addiction in humans is limited, and that there are issues with the usefulness of the current food addiction model which need to be addressed.
Young obese subjects were found to have a lower ability to identify the correct taste qualities and rated sweetness lower in intensity compared to their normal-weight peers. These are the results of a cross-sectional study executed by German researchers from the Universitätsmedizin in Berlin and the University of Dresden.
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