Review Shows High Dietary Sugar Intake Tied to Harmful Health Outcomes

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Evidence stronger for link to cardiometabolic outcomes based on 73 existing meta-analyses

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 7, 2023 (HealthDay News) — High dietary sugar consumption is generally more harmful for health, especially in cardiometabolic disease, according to an umbrella review published online April 5 in The BMJ.

Yin Huang, from Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, and colleagues conducted an umbrella review of existing meta-analyses to evaluate the quality of evidence of studies on dietary sugar consumption and health outcomes.

Based on 73 identified meta-analyses (from 8,601 articles covering 83 health outcomes in adults and children), the researchers identified significant harmful associations for dietary sugar consumption with 18 endocrine/metabolic outcomes, 10 cardiovascular outcomes, seven cancer outcomes, and 10 other outcomes (neuropsychiatric, dental, hepatic, osteal, and allergic). Highest versus lowest dietary sugar consumption was associated with increased body weight (sugar-sweetened beverages; class IV evidence) and ectopic fatty accumulation (added sugars; class IV evidence), with moderate-quality evidence. However, low-quality evidence showed that each serving/week increment of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption was associated with a 4 percent higher risk for gout (class III evidence) and each 250-mL/day increment of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption was associated with a higher risk for coronary heart disease (17 percent; class II evidence) and all-cause mortality (4 percent; class III evidence). Additional low-quality evidence showed that every 25-g/day increment of fructose consumption was associated with a higher risk for pancreatic cancer (22 percent; class III evidence).

“Reducing the consumption of free sugars or added sugars to below 25 g/day (approximately 6 teaspoons/day) and limiting the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to less than one serving/week (approximately 200 to 355 mL/week) are recommended to reduce the adverse effect of sugars on health,” the authors write.

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