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Starches, Sugars and Obesity

NUTRIM School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Department of Physiology and Nutrition, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2011, 3(3), 341-369;
Received: 24 January 2011 / Revised: 16 February 2011 / Accepted: 7 March 2011 / Published: 14 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbohydrates)
PDF [297 KB, uploaded 16 August 2011]


The rising prevalence of obesity, not only in adults but also in children and adolescents, is one of the most important public health problems in developed and developing countries. As one possible way to tackle obesity, a great interest has been stimulated in understanding the relationship between different types of dietary carbohydrate and appetite regulation, body weight and body composition. The present article reviews the conclusions from recent reviews and meta-analyses on the effects of different starches and sugars on body weight management and metabolic disturbances, and provides an update of the most recent studies on this topic. From the literature reviewed in this paper, potential beneficial effects of intake of starchy foods, especially those containing slowly-digestible and resistant starches, and potential detrimental effects of high intakes of fructose become apparent. This supports the intake of whole grains, legumes and vegetables, which contain more appropriate sources of carbohydrates associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases, rather than foods rich in sugars, especially in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages. View Full-Text
Keywords: starch; sugars; obesity; metabolic syndrome; insulin resistance; lipids; hormones; energy intake; energy expenditure; satiety starch; sugars; obesity; metabolic syndrome; insulin resistance; lipids; hormones; energy intake; energy expenditure; satiety

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Aller, E.E.J.G.; Abete, I.; Astrup, A.; Martinez, J.A.; Baak, M.A. Starches, Sugars and Obesity. Nutrients 2011, 3, 341-369.

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