New website aims to educate people on the negative effects of sugar consumption
SugarScience.org distills the findings of 8,000 studies to present clear and comprehensive facts about why sugar is bad for us.
Every year, Americans consume an average of 66 pounds of added sugar – roughly 20 teaspoons of added sugar daily, which is three times the federally recommended amount. As opposed to sugars that occur naturally in foods, “added sugar” is any sugar that is added to food during preparation, whether it’s in the kitchen, at the table, or in a food processing facility.
Sugar is everywhere, from obviously sweet foods to savory ones like pasta sauces, salad dressings, bread, and ketchup. In fact, there is added sugar in 74 percent of items sold in the supermarket, so “even if you skip dessert, you may still be consuming more added sugar than is recommended.” It’s pretty much impossible to get away from added sugar unless you cook exclusively from scratch.
Sugar has been linked to many serious health problems that are currently plaguing North Americans. Chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease, as well as the widespread obesity epidemic, are caused by the standard American diet, which features processed, packaged foods high in sodium, fat, and – you guessed it – sugar.
And yet, scientific studies that have been conducted on the effects of sugar on human health have come to very different conclusions, primarily those studies that were funded by the food industry. (Is anyone surprised?) As a result, the general public receives very confusing and mixed messages about sugar consumption, and it’s not always clear what people should and should not believe.
Hence, a new website called “Sugar Science: The Unsweetened Truth” that has recently been launched by a group of 12 scientists and doctors who are committed to clarifying the murky research and presenting the latest, research-based findings about sugar in a way that is easily understood.
The Sugar Science team has built their website to “reflect an exhaustive review of more than 8,000 scientific papers that have been published to date, with a focus on the area where the science is strongest – specifically, on diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease.”
Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatrician who has long been an outspoken critic of sugar’s prevalence in the American diet, is part of the team. He told the New York Times:
“The goal of this is to provide just the unbiased science in a way that the public can come to its own conclusions.”
The site features numerous infographics, videos, posters, flyers, and images that can be shared easily via social media or printed for distribution in your community.
It will be interesting to see whether this campaign gains momentum and nationwide attention, as it does address an issue that affects the majority of the U.S. population. It is refreshing to see scientists who truly are trying to present “the unbiased science,” as Lustig said, in lay terms. Perhaps this approach could also be used to address meat production methods, refined carbohydrates, and fats.