A new initiative from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is meant to accurately underline the health dangers of sugar in clear terms. At SugarScience.org, The SugarScience Initiative is the product of 11 researchers who scanned thousands of scientific articles about sugar and its effects on health, some of them even expanded over the period of a year. The national initiative is launching in partnership with outreach programs in health departments across the country, including the National Association of City and County Health Organizations and cities nationwide.
Developed by the team of UCSF health scientists in collaboration with scientists at UC Davis and Emory University School of Medicine, the initiative reflects a review of more than 8,000 scientific papers that have been published to date on the health effects of added sugar. Moreover the research shows strong evidence of links between the overconsumption of added sugar and chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and liver disease. It also reveals evidence linking sugar to Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, although the team admitted that more research is needed before those links can be considered conclusive.
“The average American consumes nearly three times the recommended amount of added sugar every day, which is taking a tremendous toll on our nation’s health,” said Laura Schmidt, PhD, a UCSF professor in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy and the lead investigator on the project. “This is the definitive science that establishes the causative link between sugar and chronic disease across the population.”
“We haven’t all lost our will power all of a sudden in 30 years. The only thing that we can point to that would be explaining this dramatic increase in obesity and chronic disease is a change in the proportion of our diets in added sugar,” explains Dr. Laura Schmidt. A lot of confusion, conflicting information and misperception about sugar and health matters, can be found out there, explained Schmidt. We wanted to design a dependable source of information where people can learn the truth and we wanted it to take the form of a package that the average person will have access to.