Table 2

 Characteristics of trials examining the effect of reducing intake of free sugars on measures of body fatness in adults

StudyMethodsParticipantsDietOutcomesStudy durationDose
Gatenby 199728Randomised intervention study31 healthy women of normal weight, aged 18-50 yearsAd libitum diet using reduced sugar foodsUsual dietDietary intake, change in weight10 weeksData not clearly reported; intervention reduced sugar intake by about 4% of total energy v about 1% of total energy in control group
Mann 197230,31Randomised controlled trial (parallel design)51 Apparently healthy male office workers from one company, aged 36-55 yearsAd libitum diet with low sugar (sucrose)Usual dietSerum lipids, body weight change22 weeksMean reduction of 71 g/day in the intervention group v increase of 3 g/day in controls. Difference of 11% TE
Paineau 200833 Randomised controlled trial1013 children from 54 elementary schools in Paris and 1013 parentsNutrition education to reduce fat and sugar intake and increase intake of complex carbohydratesNutrition education to reduce fat intake and increase intake of complex carbohydratesChanges in anthropometry including BMI, BMI z score, and changes in dietary intakes in children and parents8 monthsParents had reduction of 9.6 g/day v 7.3 g/day. Difference of <1% TE
Saris 200039 Randomised controlled trial159 healthy, overweight, and obese (BMI 25-35) adults, aged 20-55 yearsAd libitum diet high in SCHO (that is, sugars)Ad libitum diet high in complex carbohydratesWeight change, fat mass, dietary intakes, lipids, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, leptin6 monthsIncrease of 33 g/day SCHO versus a reduction of 44.5 g/day SCHO. Difference of 11% TE*
Smith 199641Randomised controlled trial32 middle aged and overweight men with hypertriglyceridaemiaAd libitum, sugar free dietUsual dietLipids, weight, dietary variables6 monthsReduction of 48 g/day sucrose v no change. Difference of about 8% TE

SCHO=simple carbohydrates; TE=total energy intake.

*About 60% of all food was supplied via a controlled study shop.