Four-part series reviewing the science of sugars: Role in foods, diet and health
IFIC Foundation Series on Science of Sugars Published in Nutrition Today
A four-part examination of the science of sugars, produced by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, will be published in editions of the peer-reviewed journal Nutrition Today. Part one of the series is currently available on the journal’s website.
Authors of the four-part series include: Marilyn D. Schorin, PhD, RD, FADA, a nutrition and food science expert; Kris Sollid, RD, manager for nutrients at IFIC and the IFIC Foundation; Marianne Smith-Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, senior vice-president of nutrition and food safety at IFIC and the IFIC Foundation; and Ann Bouchoux, MSW, senior director of nutrients communication at IFIC and the IFIC Foundation. The series explores types of sugars and their functions in foods; the role of sugars in a healthful diet; the relationship between sugars and both obesity and prevalent chronic diseases; and the association between sugars and dental health, cognitive function and physical activity.
“There is a good deal of confusion and debate today regarding sugar and its impact on diet and health,” said Marianne Smith-Edge. “This series, an extensive review of existing literature, seeks to gather together and present the consensus science associated with all aspects of this issue. This project is another example of the IFIC Foundation bringing balance and context to the dialogue and communicating the depth and breadth of science-based information in a way that adds clarity and public understanding.”
As carbohydrates, sugars play important roles in food. They are a source of calories and, in addition to sweetening, perform many essential technical functions both in processed foods and foods prepared in the home. Sugar was placed on the Food and Drug Administration’s list of foods that are “Generally Recognized as Safe” in 1958 and scientific investigators continue to examine the relationships between sugars and health—a topic that still spurs much discussion in both scientific and public policy settings. For these reasons, the IFIC Foundation gathered and reviewed a vast amount of research on sugar to help separate scientific facts from perception. The four-part series to be published in Nutrition Today is the culmination of that effort.
Despite extensive research, many controversies remain regarding the role and impact of sugars in nutrition and health and the series highlights the need for science-based dietary guidance and additional research in key areas. It notes that the science concerning sugar will continue to evolve and, hopefully, important questions will be answered more definitively over time.
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