Whats New

Whats New

August 1, 2003 - Carbohydrate Nutrition News

Sugars and health: Is there an issue?

Jones, J.M. & Elam, K
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Aug 2003; 103(8):1058-1060

The findings by the 2000 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) and more recently by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for macronutrients have brought focus to the question of potential adverse effects of over consumption of sugars. After a thorough review of the literature, neither group identified specific adverse effects of sugars. Given ongoing debate about sugars and health, however, both groups challenged the research community to assess further the potential relationship between sugars and chronic disease. In addition to this, the recent release of the report of the Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation on Diet, Nutrition and Prevention of Chronic Disease suggesting free sugars intake to be no more than 10% of calories as well as the proliferation of stories in the media regarding sugars and health have contributed to confusion among consumers as well as health professionals.

Recognizing the existence of such confusion well before the release of the IOM report, the Carbohydrate Technical Committee of the North American branch of the International Life Sciences Institute convened a workshop to address the latest scientific issues relating to sugars and health. Workshop participants included a group of internationally recognized experts, who were asked to review current and emerging scientific search, write papers and critique the papers’ of other workshop participants, allowing for a full sharing of facts and opinions surrounding the debate. The workshop addressed several health topics related to sugar, including definitions, public policy, regulation of food intake, energy balance and weight control, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, oral health. There was general consensus that sugars intake is only one of the many factors associated with the incidence of chronic disease, and that additional research is needed to address these complex health issues.

The following article provides a complete summary of the workshop process and findings.

Learn more