Sugar, Fiber and Their Impact on Hispanic Children

April 20/Los Angeles Times -- By slightly reducing sugar and increasing fiber, Hispanic teenagers might lessen risk factors linked with Type 2 diabetes.

Of the 54 Los Angeles County teens (average age 15) who participated in a 16-week study, some took one nutrition class a week, some took one nutrition class and two strength-training classes per week, and others were in a control group receiving no health-related interventions. The goals of the classes were to get teens to decrease added sugar and increase fiber consumption.

Reporting in April's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, researchers found that 55% of all participants cut their sugar consumption by 47g per day -- the equivalent of one can of soda, and 59% of all teens upped their fiber by an average of 5g a day -- the amount in about half a can of beans. The decreased sugar accounted for an average 33% decrease in insulin secretion. More fiber led to, on average, 10% less visceral fat, which increases the risk of diabetes.

That was all participants, even the control group. They might have been motivated by the study's purpose to make changes, too, said the authors, of the University of Southern California and Los Angeles-County-USC Medical Center.  

From the April 27, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition