- A new study is linking sugar consumption to conditions like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease in children, according to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and Touro University California.
- Researchers isolated the impact of added sugars by replacing sugary foods in 43 African-American and Latino children and teens' diets with processed foods like pizza and potato chips so that health changes could not also be linked to changes in calorie intake. This change reduced the sugar in their diets from 28% of overall calories to 10% and resulted in the reversal of "virtually every aspect of their metabolic syndrome," according to the lead author of the paper.
- These findings pit the researchers against food and beverage companies, who argue that the rise of obesity stems from excessive calorie intake overall rather than singling out sugar.
In reaction to the researchers' results, William Dermody, vice president of policy for the American Beverage Association, told The Wall Street Journal, "They raise an alarm without the proof."
Leon Bruner, chief science officer for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, agreed, telling The Wall Street Journal, "The broad conclusions and policy recommendations in this study only serve to further the author’s policy agenda without a sufficient scientific foundation."
Studies like these support beliefs consumers and entities like the World Health Organization (WHO) have about sugar and sweeteners. Earlier this year, WHO recommended that adults and children consume less than 10% of their daily calories from sugar. Berkeley, CA, became the first city in the U.S. to pass a sugary drink tax to help curb sugar consumption, and so far that tax has raised prices on sugary drinks.
The FDA has a proposal in the works to label added sugars, including a percent daily value marker. This has divided the industry, with large companies like Mars and Nestle supporting the proposal, reports Politico's Morning Agriculture.