The long-term effects of sucrose on appetite and mood remain unclear. Normal weight subjects compensate for sucrose added blind to the diet (Reid et al., 2007). Overweight subjects, however, may differ. In a single-blind, between-subjects design, soft drinks (4x25cl per day; 1800kJ sucrose sweetened versus 67kJ aspartame sweetened) were added to the diet of overweight women (n=53, BMI 25-30, age 20-55) for 4 weeks. A 7-day food diary gave measures of total energy, carbohydrate, protein, fat, and micronutrients. Mood and hunger were measured by ten single Likert scales rated daily at 11.00, 14.00, 16.00, and 20.00. Activity levels were measured by diary and pedometer. Baseline energy intake did not differ between groups. During the first week of the intervention energy intake increased slightly in the sucrose group, but not in the aspartame group, then decreased again, so by the final week intake again did not differ from the aspartame group. Compensation was not large enough to produce significant changes in the composition of the voluntary diet. There were no effects on hunger or mood. It is concluded that overweight women do not respond adversely to sucrose added blind to the diet, but compensate for it by reducing voluntary energy intake. Alternative explanations for the correlation between sugary soft drink intake and weight gain are discussed.
2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.