All calories are not equal to the risk of obesity: 22 scientists alert

In a summary document, 22 nutritionists sound the alarm about the consumption of sugary drinks. They would play a key role in chronic health problems, even when consumed as part of a diet and are not responsible for weight gain.

Will sugary drinks soon post a warning to consumers about their health risks, like cigarette packs?

This would probably not displease the 22 nutrition researchers who participated in the 2017 CrossFit Foundation academic conference. In a position paper published in Obesity Reviews, they alert on the consumption of sweetened drinks such as sodas. Particularly harmful to health, they can lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Sugary drinks to proscribe

Gathered at the CrossFit Foundations 2017 conference, researchers were asked to debate the question: Are all calories equal in responsibility for triggering obesity and cardiometabolic diseases? They concluded that while calories from any food can increase the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, sugary drinks play a unique role in chronic health problems such as type 2 diabetes. Risk of illness increases even when drinks are consumed as part of a diet and therefore do not cause weight gain.

"What is new is that it is an impressive group of scientists with extensive experience in nutrition and metabolism, who agree with the conclusion that sugary drinks increase cardiometabolic risk factors. compared to equal amounts of starch, "said Kimber Stanhope, a research biologist in nutrition at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California.

Aspartame, a sweetener that does not make you fat

Another interesting point of consensus raised by researchers at the conference is that of the role of aspartame in weight gain. Contrary to popular belief about this "fake sugar", it does not promote weight gain. "No studies on non-caloric sweeteners show weight gain," says Stanhope.

The authors also agreed that the consumption of polyunsaturated (n-6) fats, such as those found in some vegetable oils, seeds and nuts, reduces the risk of disease compared to equal amounts of saturated fat. However, this conclusion is accompanied by a caveat as dairy foods such as cheese and yogurts, which may be high in saturated fat, are instead associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk.

Eat well to stay healthier: this is the conclusion of the 22 researchers who signed the summary document. "We still have a long way to go to get accurate answers to many different nutritional questions, but we all agree that a healthy diet consisting of legumes, fruits, vegetables and Healthy and unprocessed fats promote health compared to the typical Western diet, refined and appetizing, "concludes Kimber Stanhope.

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