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A sugar study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, finds sugar does more than just pack on the pounds.

From the dictionary, I know that pack on the pounds means to gain weight, but pack here, I guess, is used as a verb. So should it more appropriate to substitute packing for pack? Just as follows:

A sugar study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, finds sugar does more than just packing on the pounds.

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The question seems to be about the use of packing or pack*.

It is fine to use the bare infinitive after "to do", as in the following examples:

What does sugar do to you?
It packs one the pounds, doesn't it?
Yes, it does make you fat.

You would not see this written (or hear this spoken) as:

*What does sugar doing to you?
It packs one the pounds, doesn't it?
*Yes, it does making you fat.

So similarly, if it does more than one thing, we still use the same form:

What does sugar do to you?
It does make you fat.
Well, it does more than pack on the pounds.

  • Yes, great examples. However, we could say, "Do you see what sugar is doing to you?" "Yes, I'm packing on the pounds." That's one way to make the -ing form grammatical. – J.R. Feb 5 '14 at 12:22
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There has to be a verb. Pack is a verb; pack on pounds is an idiomatic way to say gain weight. Does or makes is simply the wrong verb in English for what sugar does. What sugar does, as oerkelens has said, is cause weight gain. We wouldn't typically say sugar that does pack on pounds; "There is sugar that doesn't pack on pounds and sugar that does [pack on pounds]." is an example of where we would use it.

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Think this way and it'll go better.

A sugar study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, finds sugar does more than just [pack on the pounds] weight gain.

We often refer the phrase like 'Foods that pack on the pounds'. Here, sugar is one of the foods that pack on the pounds.

As you said, Pack on the pounds is an idiom used to describe weight gain.

Pack on the pounds (idiomatic) - to gain weight.

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    "sugar does more than just weight gain" is not grammatical, compare "sugar does weight gain". "sugar does more than pack on the pounds" -> "sugars packs on the pounds". You mention that pack on is a verb, then you cannot replace that verb with a noun in a sentence (weight gain is a noun!). Also "gain weight" would not work, as the sugar does not gain weight, but the person eating it does. – oerkelens Feb 5 '14 at 10:12
  • @oerkelens First, I said think this way to understand it better. At times, we (I'm a healthcare provider) often say it that way. What extra sugar does to you? can be answered It (sugar) does weight gain. – Maulik V Feb 5 '14 at 10:41
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    No, "sugar does [noun]" is wrong :) The original "sugar does pack the pounds" is "sugar does [verb] [object]". You need a verb after "sugar does", and "weight gain is not a verb, so it will not work. – oerkelens Feb 5 '14 at 12:05
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    I have no problem with that wording. I have a problem with the wording "food that weight gain", as I would have with the sentence "This man table." Do you see the difference between "weight gain" (gain = noun) and "gain weight" (gain = verb)? – oerkelens Feb 5 '14 at 12:13
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    Yes, but not sugar does weight gain! Sugar can cause weight gain, but it doesn't "do" weight gain. – oerkelens Feb 5 '14 at 12:20

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