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Long-Term Effects of Sugar Use

author image Suzann Connell
Suzann Connell is an accomplished writer with more than 15 years of freelance experience. Her work has been published through Pearson Education and Prentice-Hall. Connell received her Doctor of Philosophy in holistic nutrition from the Clayton College of Natural Health and her Master of Arts in instructional design from Pepperdine University.
Long-Term Effects of Sugar Use
Young boy playing on his computer while drinking a soda Photo Credit: Buccina Studios/Photodisc/Getty Images

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.

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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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