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Long-Term Effects of Sugar Use

By Suzann Connell

Having something that contains sugar can be comforting and satisfying. Unfortunately, every food creates a metabolic reaction and if the reactions are negative over a long term, it is best to limit consumption of substances that cause bodily harm. The long-term effects of sugar use are well-documented, and research indicates that they are not healthy.

Weight Gain

Sugar contains calories, but those calories do not fuel the body with long-term energy. The extra calories from sugary foods cause weight gain, especially when used over a sustained period of time. The "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" reports that there is a correlation between intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in both children and adults. Although the study is limited to intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, the logical conclusion is that adding additional sugary foods to sugar-sweetened beverages would increase the propensity for even greater weight gain. The findings concluded that there is a link between sugar intake and increased body weight.

Elevated Blood Pressure

Some food substances elevate blood pressure, and sugar is one of those detrimental substances. In a study conducted on adults, researchers from the American Heart Association published findings that indicate a direct correlation between sugar-sweetened beverages and blood pressure elevation. When the sugar-sweetened beverages were removed from the subjects, blood pressure levels were reduced.

Contributor to Disease

Sugar does not prevent any known diseases, but the long-term effects of sugar may contribute to them. For example, the American Heart Association suggests that there is a correlation between diabetes mellitus, heart disease and stroke as a result of added sugars in the diet. The researchers also suggest that obesity is the result of excess sugar consumption. Obesity is a condition where excessive body fat becomes a risk factor for health-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. The long-term effects of sugar use contribute to obesity and disease.

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