UC San Francisco scientists have decided to address the obesity epidemic taking over the country in a unique way: by launching the Sugar Science initiative. This groundbreaking research and education endeavor is meant to highlight the best scientific findings on added sugar and how it impacts our health.
By partnering up with outreach programs in health departments across the United States, UCSF has developed a national initiative to reflect the analysis of over 8,000 scientific research papers published until now addressing the dangers of added sugar. The literature underlines the significant connection between the consumption of added sugar and chronic diseases, such as Type2 diabetes, liver disease and heart disease.
There are studies, however, which reflect a direct connection between sugar overconsumption and Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, although additional research needs to be conducted until conclusive evidence is obtained.
“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,”
Laura Schmidt, lead investigator and UCSF professor in the Phillip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy said.
“This is the definitive science that establishes the causative link between sugar and chronic disease across the population.”
SugarScience.org emerged therefore as a means to educate regarding these severe risks connected to sugar overconsumption. The site not only contains relevant data and conclusions from peer-reviewed studies on the matter, it also offers an interactive and easy possibility of becoming that much wiser on sugar and its effects.
The website contains a section addressed to questions and offers interesting “SugarScience Facts” that concisely express all you need to know about sugar and its place in your diet. Moreover, the website also offers information about hidden sugars and how to identify them.
It’s alarming, Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, UCSF professor of medicine, epidemiology and biostatistics, said, that over 20 years ago, diseases such as type 2 diabetes were practically unheard of among children. Now, over 13,000 children receive the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes yearly.
And although there are no federal recommended daily allowances for added sugar, the American Heart Association suggests a consumption of less than 6 tsp. for women and 9 tsp. for men .
“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,”
Dr. Laura Schmidt added.