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Health quickly improves with reduced sugar
Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel has made thousands of enemies over the last few years, asking parents to tell their children, the day following Halloween, that they had eaten all their candy, and send video of their reactions to his show.
He would actually be doing the children a lot of good if it were actually true.
The same can't be said for the parents who consumed the sugar.
This is definitely not a good week to try to make major dietary changes in the family diet, but a new study financed by the National Institutes of Health should provide incentive to do so once the goodies are gone.
It takes only 10 days for children's health to improve dramatically after their sugar intake is cut, according to the study.
Published in the journal Obesity, the study removed foods with added sugar from a group of children's diets and replaced them with other types of carbohydrates that overall calorie intake remains about the same.
After 10 days, the children showed dramatic improvements despite losing little or no weight, adding weight to the argument that added sugars are the greatest threat to health.
Researchers followed 43 children, ages 9 to 18, all black or Hispanic and obese, with one or more symptoms of metabolic syndrom such as hypertension, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol and excess body fat around the waist.
They had, on average, been getting about 27 percent of their daily calories from sugar, compared to the average American's 15 percent.
Dieticians didn't try to eliminate carbohydrates, but instead tried to replace sugary foods with starchy foods without lowering body weight or calorie intake.
They did so by eating bagels instead of yogurt sweetened with sugar, baked potato chips instead of pastries, and turkey hot dogs or burgers instead of chicken teriyaki, which contains a lot of sugar.
What sugar they did get came mostly from fresh fruit.
In only nine days, on average, the subjects' "bad" LDL cholesterol fell by 10 points, blood pressure dropped five points, heart-threatening triglycerides dropped 33 points, and their fasting blood sugar and insulin levels improved markedly, showing a lower risk of diabetes.
It turns out we should be more scared of the stuff kids are bringing back in their goody bags than the costumes they are wearing.
Check out CDC guidelines for cutting calories at http://1.usa.gov/1P7JZ4Z