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November 24, 2016 - Carbohydrate Nutrition News

Future Research Needs and Priorities on Sugars and Health

On November 4th, 2016, the Canadian Institute of Health Research Institute of Nutrition Metabolism and Diabetes (CIHR-INMD) announced a partnership with Health Canada, sponsoring research projects investigating the relationship between sugars and health. More information and application deadline are available here

To address increasing interest in this area, Dr. Mei Chung et al. recently published a review article, providing insights into future research needs and priorities for studies on dietary sugars and potentially related health outcomes.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses provide the highest quality evidence; however, “structured approaches for examining the results of systematic reviews and prioritizing research gaps identified in systematic reviews have recently become more common and developed.” This review article outlines a new approach to assess future research needs. It starts with a systemic mapping of high-quality scientific literature on sugars and health (e.g. human intervention studies and cohort studies). 

The results from this evidence-mapping exercise were subsequently used to inform a multidisciplinary stakeholder panel (composed of researchers, policy makers, health providers, research funders, etc.) who prioritized the direction of future research needed to fill research gaps and support public health policy.

A total of 14 sets of research questions were identified and prioritized by the panel. The top three high-priority questions selected by the panel focused on the effects of dietary sugars on

  • Body weight or body composition,
  • Fat deposition, and
  • Satiety and appetite.

The authors state that having a multi-disciplinary stakeholder panel involved in discussing future research needs “ensures that the most relevant research is funded and conducted”.

Full article can be accessed at http://rdcu.be/mEe0