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Sugar 'not necessary' for a good cuppa

Sugar 'not necessary' for a good cuppa

  • 29 April 2019
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Image caption The cup that cheers... but do you really need sugar in it?

It might be a ritual for many but scientists say your cup of tea does not actually need a spoonful of sugar.

A study found participants were able to cut it out without their enjoyment being affected - suggesting a long-term change in behaviour was possible.

Scientists said quitting in one go or reducing intake gradually were both effective strategies to reduce consumption.

The authors said a bigger trial was needed to confirm their findings.

A team including researchers from University College London and the University of Leeds analysed data over one month for 64 men who usually drank tea sweetened with sugar.

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Participants were split equally into men who quit in one drastic step, those who gradually reduced sugar in their tea over four weeks and a control group who continued to drink sweetened tea.

The results suggested that the groups who reduced sugar were still able to enjoy a cuppa without a spoonful of the sweet stuff.

At the end of the study, 42% of those in the gradual reduction group quit sugar in tea as did 36% of those who eliminated it in one go.

Six per cent of men in the control group also gave it up in their cuppa.

The team concluded: "Reducing sugar in tea doesn't affect liking, suggesting long-term behaviour change is possible."

The researchers added that similar methods could be used to reduce sugar intake in other drinks such as squash.

The findings were peer-reviewed by conference officials at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow.