Sugar Association expresses importance of science-based conclusions

Published online: Aug 27, 2014
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The Sugar Association (SA) reiterated its objection to the use of the term “added sugars” in recent comments to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), as well noting that the preponderance of scientific evidence simply does not support the DGA’s recent conclusion that a reduction in “added sugars” will reduce the risk of serious diseases.

“The Association supports current efforts to advise the American public that fruits, vegetables, whole grain and other fiber and calcium-rich foods should be the centerpieces of their daily diets … However, we question the scientific validity of federal dietary guidance that gives the American public the impression that reducing ‘added sugars,’ sugar-sweetened food or sweetened beverages in their diet will decrease their risk of serious diseases such a cardiovascular disease and stroke without a robust body of scientific evidence that demonstrates a biological mechanism or causation to support this guidance,” the comments state.

SA expressed particular concern regarding the concluding statement of Subcommittee 2’s report, A Series of Systematic Reviews on the Relationship between Dietary Patterns and Health Outcomes (report), Chapter 4-B, ‘The Relationship Between Dietary Patterns and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease.’ The subcommittee concluded: “There is strong and consistent evidence that in healthy adults increased adherence to dietary pattern scoring high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, unsaturated oils, low-fat dairy, fish: low in red and processed meat, high-fat dairy, and added sugars; and moderate in alcohol is associated with decreased risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease and stroke.”

“The inference that there is strong and consistent evidence that dietary patterns low in “added sugars” will decrease risks of coronary heart disease and stroke is not supported by the preponderance of scientific and medical knowledge,” the Association comments state.

SA also questioned the scientific validity of the scientific methodology, which uses suppositions that are based on limited evidence, as the sole basis to support this conclusion statement.“We ask the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and the federal government representatives that provide oversight in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans process, to maintain the scientific integrity by maintaining strict adherence to evidence-based standards and unbiased analysis of the total body of scientific evidence. We therefore request that the ‘added sugars’ component be removed from the report’s conclusion statement on ‘The Relationship Between Dietary Patterns and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease,’ the comments conclude.