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Sugary Drinks But NOT Sugary Food, Linked to Weight Gain and Higher Diabetes Risk in Mice
New research has found that consumption of sugary drinks, but not sugary food leads to weight gain.
The study published in Molecular Metabolism, found that when mice were given a sugary drink it led to weight gain, however, mice who ate the same amount of sugar in a solid form did not gain weight.
Professor John Speakman, who leads groups at the University of Aberdeen and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, conducted the study to determine whether the way sugar was consumed would affect the likelihood of weight gain.
The study compared mice who had diets containing 73% of calories from sugar in either a solid (standard rodent pellet) or liquid form (in drinking water) for 8 weeks. Body weight, body composition, energy intake and expenditure were monitored, as well as tests of how well the animals responded to glucose and insulin, a means of measuring susceptibility to diabetes. 
Results showed that consumption of sugary water, but not equivalent levels of solid sugar, led to body fat gain, as well as impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, markers of increased diabetes risk.
Liquid sugar intake was associated with greater total intake of calories and greater body fat gain. The same level of sugar in a solid diet did not cause the mice to consume extra calories and so didn’t cause elevated body weight and fatness.
Professor Speakman explained: “We need to know how body weight is regulated to understand the obesity and diabetes epidemics.
“There is a lot of recent concern over the intake of sugary drinks. If humans respond in the same way as mice do, then our data suggest that these concerns may be entirely justified.”
The study was funded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Strategic Program (XDB13030100),  and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91649108) and a Wolfson merit award from the Royal Society
QI Lei
Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences