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The Science of Sugars, Part 3: Sugars and Chronic Disease Risks

Schorin, Marilyn D. PhD, RD, FADA; Sollid, Kris RD; Edge, Marianne Smith MS, RD, LD, FADA; Bouchoux, Ann MSW

doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e318244200e
Feature Article

The prevalence of diabetes, obesity, and hypertension in the United States is concerning. The etiologies of these chronic diseases are multifactorial in nature, involving varying genetic, social, and environmental factors. The relationship between food and food ingredients and risk for chronic disease has been particularly questioned. Specifically, scientific investigators have extensively examined the relationship between sugars and health. Consensus to date includes the following: total sugar intake does not cause type 2 diabetes; evidence linking sugar consumption to obesity is inconsistent; and intake of carbohydrates, including sugars, is not considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Although more research is needed in some areas, in general, the available data show no direct link between moderate consumption of sugars and serious diseases or obesity.

We continue our exploration of sugars and their effects on some major chronic degenerative diseases

Marilyn D. Schorin, PhD, RD, FADA, is principal of Schorin Strategies, LLC, in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr Schorin gained extensive experience in scientific, health, and nutrition strategies with more than 20 years working on food and nutrition issues. She currently advises a wide variety of Fortune 500 corporations, identifying emerging nutrition issues and combining communications and regulatory plans to address these topics.

Kris Sollid, RD, is the manager of nutrients at the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the IFIC Foundation in Washington, DC (http://http://www.foodinsight.org). He is a registered dietitian dedicated to communicating science-based nutrition information to consumers, health professionals, and other message multipliers that correspond directly with consumers.

Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, is the senior vice president of nutrition and food safety at the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the IFIC Foundation in Washington, DC (http://http://www.foodinsight.org). She is a registered dietitian, experienced communicator, strategic planner, and facilitator with more than 25 years of experience working in the healthcare and food industries. Marianne’s expertise includes strategic positioning of nutritional products/services and nutrition communications, and she is a nationally recognized speaker in health, wellness, and farm-to-table issues.

Ann Bouchoux, MSW, is the senior director of nutrients at the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and editor of Food Insight newsletter for the IFIC Foundation (http://http://www.foodinsight.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of effectively communicating science-based information on health, nutrition, and food safety for the public good.

Dr. Schorin has disclosed that she is a Consultant for the American Beverage Association. All other authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Kris Sollid, RD, International Food Information Council, 1100 Connecticut Ave, Suite 430, Washington, DC 20036 (sollid@ific.org).

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.