Here’s the difference between a blog and a medical journal. After publishing a free full-text meta analysis — Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies — the journal (the BMJ) can summarize the research as:
Reducing sugar intake has a small but significant effect on body weight in adults, finds a paper published on bmj.com today.
Although the effect is relatively small (an average reduction of 0.8 kg), the findings provide some support for international guidelines to cut sugar intake to less than 10% of total energy to help reduce the global obesity epidemic.
Relatively small?! You’re killing me! Chalk it up to blog vs journal, but for me, 0.8 kg (aka
~1/3 pound 1.76 lb*) is far, far from significant no matter what the p-value.
A corresponding editorial by Walter Willett and David Ludwig notes that:
[The study's] results suggest that sugar increases body weight mainly by promoting overconsumption of energy
A ha! I guess folks just need to eat less and move more.
I’m quite sure that the literature review/analysis was extensive and thoughtful. And I’m also of the opinion that total sugars should be limited. But yee gads. This feels like it’s evidence FOR the food industry. All things in moderation, right?
* Update: Stupid math error on my part. A ~2 pound loss over the duration of the studies (tho some were as much as 8 months long) may or may not be as inconsequential as I originally got fussy about.