Does sugar cause weight gain?
Yes, if you ask independent scientists. But no, if you ask the sugar industry.
A new study recently took a look at articles evaluating the link between sugar-sweetened beverages (like Coke and Pepsi) and weight gain. Where the researchers had some financial conflict of interest with “some food industry” (not even the sugar industry specifically), 83% found that sugary soft drinks do not contribute to weight gain. With no conflict of interest, 83% found that they do. Industry-supported studies were five times more likely to be pro-sugar!
The takeaway for the non-scientists trying to read studies critically is to always read the “conflict of interest” section before you trust a study. You can find this in the footnotes (at the bottom, right below the references list). Here’s a link to the footnotes in one of the biased studies, so you can take a look for yourself.
Moving on now to less depressing news, take a look at what else has been going on this week:
- Coke and Pepsi aren’t the only sugary beverages around! Amy at Tuit Nutrition explains why those “all-natural fruit juices” are not the health food they claim to be, at least for most of us (hint: the reason has 5 letters, and it starts with an s!).
- Kevin Cann looks at one reason why some people do just fine with starches, while others don’t: genetics. If you’ve been struggling with carbs even after switching to Paleo, this might be the answer you’re looking for.
- If you ever wanted a diet specifically designed to destroy your sex drive, check out the graham cracker, designed by a vegetarian doctor for precisely that purpose. Who wouldn’t get excited about that?
- A provocative article in Popular Anthropology suggests that Paleo should include legumes. Read with an open mind, and decide for yourself.
- A group of researchers at the University of Toronto just finished a study debunking the blood type diet.
- Some tips on staying healthy while traveling from Chris Kresser here, including a mental-health saving tip for getting through security checkpoints.