Published on August 11, 2010 at 8:32 AM
These findings suggest that because it is widely believed that sugary drinks are bad and part of an unhealthy diet, people then go on to behave accordingly. The primary causes of any negative effects of sugar on food choices and mood, may be psychological, and Prof Marie Reid, Professor of Applied Psychology at Queen Margaret University concludes: "Widespread publicity about the supposed harmful effects of sugar may make such effects more likely, as believing sugar to be harmful may encourage negative emotions after eating sugary food and lead to the abstinence violation effect. In other words, knowing that you're drinking sugary drinks, while believing that they're harmful, might result in the derailing of a generally healthy low-fat diet".
"Sugar in moderation plays a neutral role in the balanced diet, but an emotionally charged role in the psychology of food choice," she added.
The new research is published in the August issue of the journal Appetite, and replicates a previous study conducted by Reid in 2007, with normal weight women. The results substantiate those of the earlier study and show that women reduced their voluntary energy intake when the sucrose drinks were added to the diet. By the final week of the study, women had reduced their total energy intake back to baseline levels.
SOURCE Queen Margaret University