June 14, 2012

The Canadian Sugar Institute (CSI) will be exhibiting at the Dietitians of Canada National Conference in Toronto, ON from June 14-16, 2012.

At the conference, Katrina Anciado, a former CSI intern from the Master of Applied Nutrition Program at the University of Guelph, will give a poster presentation. Katrina is presenting the research she helped conduct during her internship with CSI on health professionals' perceptions of current trends in sugars consumption. Please see the abstract below.

Health professionals' perceptions of sugars consumption trends
Katrina Anciado, MAN, RD1, Jodi Bernstein2 and Tristin Brisbois, PhD2

1University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario; 2Canadian Sugar Institute, Toronto, Ontario.

There are many misconceptions surrounding sugars consumption. Added sugars consumption has not increased over recent decades in countries such as Canada, Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The overall purpose of this project was to determine health professionals' perceptions of sugars consumption trends.

Objectives: To gather users' feedback of Canadian Sugar Institute (CSI) resources and to assess dietitians' knowledge of trends in sugars consumption in Canada.

Methods: From 2003-2011, conference attendees voluntarily completed CSI surveys, which included questions on demographics, preferences for CSI resources, and sugar-related knowledge.

Results: Dietitians represented 60% of survey participants. Dietitians and the majority (80%) of nurses and physicians claimed to often discuss nutrition with their clients. Most respondents (76%) found CSI's resources useful. Topics of interest for resources included: glycemic index, type 2 diabetes, nutrition labelling, dietary guidelines and dental health. Sugar-knowledge questions revealed that the majority of dietitians (77%) were not aware that sugars and syrup consumption has decreased in Canada. Some dietitians (39%) correctly identified that 10-15% of Canadians' total energy intake is attributed to total added sugars. Less than half of dietitians were aware that HFCS is used to sweeten most soft drinks sold in Canada. Most dietitians (70%) were not aware that Canadian consumption of soft drinks is half that of Americans.

Implications and Conclusions: There appears to be a need for an effective transfer of evidence-based knowledge to dietitians and other health professionals regarding sugars and trends in consumption. CSI should continue to develop resources for these professionals to use as tools in discussions with their clients.