A team of scientists in the United Kingdom and China in a new study have stated that the effect of added sucrose in the diet on calorie intake and body weight appears to depend on whether it is in liquid or solid form. The study in mice suggests that the contribution of added dietary sugar to obesity comes largely from sugar-sweetened drinks. According to medicalnewstoday.com, the researchers came to the conclusion after giving mice added sugar in either their drink or their food for eight weeks and then comparing them.
The senior author of the study, Prof. John Speakman, said, “In both groups of mice, the added sugar represented 73 per cent of the available dietary calories. The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been widely implicated as a contributing factor in obesity, and we investigated whether the mode of ingestion (solid or liquid) had different impacts on body weight regulation in mice.”
The researchers monitored the mice’s body weight, body fat, calorie intake, and energy expenditure. They also measured glucose and insulin response as a way to assess how close the animals might come to developing diabetes. The results showed that the mice that had liquid sucrose in their drinking water consumed more calories, put on more weight and increased their body fat. In contrast, the researchers noted that the mice that had the same level of added sucrose in their food pellets but drank plain water were leaner and metabolically healthier than their counterparts exposed to liquid sucrose.
The mice that had increased body fat as a result of drinking liquid sucrose also developed lower tolerance to glucose and sensitivity to insulin, both of which are markers of raised diabetes risk. The researchers, however, linked these adverse metabolic markers to an increase in body fat and not directly to higher sucrose intake.