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1426045_92427882As momma used to say, Too much of anything is no good for you. This has been confirmed again, in a new study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine. In a report based on several national surveys, Dr. Quanhe Yang from the CDC and colleagues examined the association of added sugar consumption and the rate of mortality from cardiovascular disease.

The researchers used data from the National Health and...

Recently I was talking with my brother-in-law, a fit and healthy type 1 diabetic, and he was bemoaning the fact that it was getting harder to find sufficiently sugary drinks to have on standby in case of a hypo. He lives in the UK, which like a handful of cities in the US has a tax on sodas, and the resulting reformulation of these beverages has had some unintended consequences – not just for diabetics, but also for those with PKU who are now finding it harder to avoid the phenylalanine-containing sweetener, aspartame.

I mention this, not as a lead into a critique of the sugar tax – that’s a whole other debate – but simply to illustrate one aspect of the all-pervading trend to make sugar the latest bogey man of the nutrition world.

It’s human nature to want...

In one month, it will become increasingly difficult to find a sugar-sweetened beverage in any city-owned building in Boston. And in the meantime, to prime residents for this phase-out ordered by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, a $1 million federally funded campaign will urge them to reduce their consumption of these beverages. The city-wide media campaign is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and targets sugar-sweetened beverages in an effort to combat rising obesity rates and, subsequently, higher health care costs.

This campaign, aimed at scaring parents and teenagers about the dangers of sugary sodas, echoes a...

A research team at Princeton University demonstrated that rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup [HFCS] gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

This is contrary to many other studies that show that the metabolism of HFCS is the same as that of sucrose, says Dr. Ross. It isn t even concordant with other animal studies.

There seems to be a campaign to show that HFCS is a major cause of obesity and that obesity will somehow cease to be a problem if we just switch to sugar, says Dr. Whelan. Of course, that s completely false. Even Dr. Marion Nestle...

sugar-make-us-age-1When people restrict their salt intake for a period of time, they come to prefer a lower amount their previous "normal" intake seems too salty. A recent study investigated whether the same is true for sugar consumption. If so, a period of sugar restriction might result in a preference for less sweet foods and might be a means of reducing food intake.

Writing in...

Foods and beverages containing sugar substitutes are widely used in the United States and other countries; they offer attractive dietary options for people who are trying to limit calorie intake and/or reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Extensive scientific research supports the safety of the five low-calorie sugar substitutes currently approved for use in foods and beverages in the U.S. acesulfame-K, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, and sucralose.

This report by the American Council on Science and Health summarizes the scientific facts about the safety of sugar substitutes.

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We were surprised and disappointed to see this week s issue of Nature offering us The toxic truth about sugar. The commentary, by Dr. Robert Lustig and colleagues, calls for nothing short of a global war on sugar in order to combat the chronic non-communicable diseases that the United Nations has identified as the greatest worldwide health burden. In this regard, Lustig et al. pinpoint foods containing added sugar specifically fructose as the primary culprit. A lifetime s accumulation of fructose, Dr. Lustig warns, can kill.

Dr. Lustig s concerns about sugar are multi-faceted, but his major claim is that sugar,...

"If my son eats anything with sugar in it, he starts bouncing off the walls. He had a piece of cake at his cousin's birthday party last Saturday, and I couldn't get him to settle down for the rest of the day. The next time he goes to a party no cake!"

If you're a parent, you've probably heard a lot of comments like this one. Many people think that eating sugar makes kids "wired." Some even think that sugar can cause attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In a survey conducted by University of Florida researchers, 30% of white parents and 59% of African-American parents attributed ADHD to excessive sugar in children's diets. In another study, 41% of a group of elementary school teachers said that hyperactivity could be caused by sugar or other...

The Wall Street Journal reports, "A working group made up of officials from several federal regulatory agencies Tuesday proposed restricting marketing of foods and beverages that contain significant amounts of sugar, sodium, and saturated fat, in response to concerns about childhood obesity."

"While these guidelines from this working group are voluntary at this point, it seems to me that the road leads to some official government restriction," says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross."

ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan agrees: "Such restriction has already occurred in England. They have a very long list of foods including cheese that cannot be advertised during children's programming."

Dr. Ross adds, "Good nutrition involves a balance of various foods. There are no...

Research conducted by the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and Environment and Dutch medical and scientific centers found that adults who consume alcohol in moderation had a significantly reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those who did not drink at all.

This is a observational study based on self-reported data, not a controlled trial, so we cannot make a cause-and-effect statement about these results, says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. Still, the study was based on 35,000 people over 10 years, and they found the risk of Type 2 diabetes decreased by 42 percent among those that drank moderately. It s a very interesting and counterintuitive study, and it warrants confirmation with...