Sugar Myth Exploded

Published Online: Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Contrary to popular wisdom, sugar does not play a major role in causing diabetes, according to the results of a recent study of more than 38,000 women aged 45 and older enrolled in the Women?s Health Study.Total calorie intake and a sedentary lifestyle are much more important.

Study participants filled out food-frequency questionnaires. The researchers then added up the total sugar intake. Over a 6-year period, only 918 women developed type 2 diabetes.

The investigators concluded that there is "no definitive influence of sugar intake on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes." The results of the study, led by Dr. Sok-Ja Janket of Harvard, appeared in the April 2003 issue of Diabetes Care. The authors are quick to point out that moderation in sugar intake is still a good idea. Yet, as the 1994 American Diabetes Association?s guidelines suggest, sugar does not have to be completely shunned.

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