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The Science of Sugars, Part I: A Closer Look at Sugars

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

doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e3182435de8
Continuing Education

As carbohydrates, sugars play many important roles in our food. They are a source of calories and, in addition to sweetening, perform many essential technical functions both in processed foods and in foods prepared in the home. However, the complex terminology used to describe sugars can be confusing. Communications regarding the definitions of various sugars, the role of sugars in our food and health, and the methods used to measure sugar consumption would be enhanced among regulators, scientists, manufacturers, health professionals, and consumers if commonly accepted definitions were harmonized.

Some basic definitions and details on issues relating to sugars

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 IFIC Foundation in Washington, DC ( 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 IFIC and IFIC Foundation in Washington, DC ( 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 IFIC and editor of Food Insight newsletter for the IFIC Foundation (, 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 (

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.