A University study has found sugar increases the risk of heart disease irrespective of weight gain.
University of Otago researchers have reviewed international studies comparing higher and lower sugar diets.
The study found that sugar contributes to heart disease, independent of the effect on a person's weight.
Researcher at the University of Otago Dr Lisa Te Morenga said there is now conclusive evidence of the effect of sugar on blood pressure.
Dr Te Morenga said a further study will look at why sugar has such an effect compared with other carbohydrates.
She says the research bolsters the arguments of those who are calling for restrictions on the amount of sugar in food and drink.