Warning over mixed messages on sugar in obesity fight

Focusing on sugar in the fight against obesity could be misleading people on the need to reduce the number of overall calories they eat, Scottish experts have claimed.

People still need to watch their calorie count even if they cut out sugar. Picture: PA
People still need to watch their calorie count even if they cut out sugar. Picture: PA

Sugar has become the focus of the fight against obesity due to its lack of nutritional benefits, but Glasgow University researchers found fat contributed more to the overall calorie intake of the 132,000 people studied.

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Compared with healthy people, the overweight people obtained a higher proportion of their calories from fat, but a lower proportion from sugar.

Jill Pell, director of Glasgow’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing, said: “The critical message is that people need to reduce their overall calories. If focusing attention on sugar results in people compensating by eating more crisps then we will fail to combat obesity.”