Over the years, weight gain and obesity has become a major problem among children and teens. I’ve heard many different explanations on why and how people gain weight, but never heard one specific cause. Now as I enter my freshman year, I’m worried about gaining the “freshman 15” that everyone says is impossible to avoid. Therefore, I decided to research main causes of weight gain to note how to stay healthy and fit.
I found the article, “Sugar is Definitely Toxic, a New Study Says”, by Alice Park, which shares how a fairly recent study conducted found that sugar intake in foods plays a big role in weight gain and diseases rather than calorie intake. Scientists have found that Americans who try removing fats from their diet usually substitute it with sugars. The study conducted by Dr. Robert Lustig involved 43 minority children between the ages of 8 to 18 years old. The study began by having the children fill out a questionnaire that asked about their average daily caloric intake. Based on their answers, scientists create specific meal plans that substituted the sugar in their diets with starch and kept the calorie count the exact same. The kids would follow this meal plan for 9 days and eat more or less of their meals to remain the same weight (Park 2015).
The experiment showed that multiple children being studied became overall healthier. According to this study conducted by Dr. Lustig, once the children’s overall dietary sugar decreased, their fasting blood sugar decreased by 53%, and the amount of insulin, triglyceride, LDL, and fat in the liver decreased too (Park 2015). The researchers also proved that there is a direct causation link between sugar and metabolic syndrome after comparing the results of kids who lost weight and kids who didn’t lose weight during the experiment.
In addition to their findings, the scientists linked that the reduction of fat in the kids’ livers indicates that sugar is a main cause of metabolic syndrome and other chronic diseases. Despite many discoveries made during this experiment, many scientists are still skeptical. Experts and nutritionists want people to take away from this experiment that the main problem is people are over eating, which is the biggest problem related to weight gain, not just from sugar (Park 2015). I personally, however, agree with both the study findings and the idea of over eating causing weight gain. My Aunt had struggled with her weight for many years until she spoke with a nutritionist who told her to cut back sugar from her diet and eat less calorie-rich foods. She ended up losing around 70 pounds in a little under a year by cutting back on sugary foods and eating healthier options. Overall, this study holds valuable information and statistics that can not only help people who are struggling with their weight, but also help people who are looking for ways to stay healthy.