Striking back at sugar claims
February 12th, 2014
12:30 AM ET
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Editor's note: Andy Briscoe is the president and CEO of the Sugar Association.

Just about every time an article about "sugar" is published, I get frustrated because of the effort by some to falsely target sugar.

Although reporters often ask the Sugar Association for scientific facts and data regarding sugar to use in their stories, the information we provide is rarely included. Often, it's completely ignored because it does not support the preconceived focus of their article.

Thus, a tremendous amount of factual, scientifically verified information about all-natural sugar (sucrose) is being left out of today's conversation. And, sugar, the natural version, is too often confused with the more prevalent man-made sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup.

That's misleading for consumers. And it's bad for advancing a real debate about solving the serious problem of obesity in America.

I'm talking about a legitimate, credible discussion, supported by government data and independent scientific research, not hysteria and misinformation. Those using inflammatory and baseless phrases like "toxic" are often more concerned with a sound bite to sensationalize an article or TV appearance, and their claims have more to do with boosting their social media following or selling books than resolving genuine issues of public health. Targeting sugar alone is disingenuous, at best.

The most recent example of this trend is a study that appeared in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, and the media storm that ensued, condemning sugar as a contributing factor to cardiovascular disease.

Read - Don't believe everything you hear about 'sugar'

Why your grandma swipes sugar packets
Clarified – high fructose corn syrup
Sugar not only makes you fat, it may make you sick

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Filed under: Health News • Sugar

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Sharon Howard

    Sugar may not be as bad as we think (so says the President and CEO of the sugar foundation), but I don't see any positive health aspects there. I stopped eating sugar about one year ago. I stopped craving sugary items about one month after that. I'm no scientist, but it sure feels like addiction to me.

    February 15, 2014 at 7:29 am |
  2. Mary

    Sucrose is part fructose. Fructose is processed through a different biological pathway than other sugars such as dextrose, glucose or lactose. So while it may not be "as toxic" as high fructose corn syrup, it doubtlessly is not as easy on the liver as other simple sugars, especially in foods with little to no fiber to buffer absorption. Why exactly is a spokesman for the sugar industry qualified to speak about human health? I see no MD behind your name.

    February 13, 2014 at 12:00 am |
  3. adam

    ascapone-agreed, but there is some truth to his statement. Example: millions of people still believe that giving their children sugar will make them hyperactive, even though there is no scientific basis for such a behavioral change (barring a pre-existing neurological or metabolic disorder).

    February 12, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
  4. ascapone

    Can we trust a statement from the president of the sugar association. It all just illustrates that most people are not in search of objective, fact based information. Only information that helps them push their agendas. I guess we can't trust anyone to tell the truth anymore...

    February 12, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
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