Food Companies Dispute Recommendations To Cut Sugar Consumption
Public health officials have been on a drive to push cutting off sugar intake in an effort to promote healthier lifestyle. However, food companies challenged such recommendation. A study funded by food companies stated that there was no clear link between consumption of added sugar and health effects.
The study was conducted in response to the call for food companies, including candy and soda makers, to consider their use of sugar. Scientists and public health officials believe that sweetener is the primary factor for the rise in the incidence of obesity and diabetes.
A number of local governments in the United States are also introducing sugar and soda taxes aimed at reducing consumption.
"Guidelines on dietary sugar do not meet criteria for trustworthy recommendations and are based on low-quality evidence," said Bradley Johnston of The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute and co-authors in an article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (AIM).
The International Life Sciences Institute, which includes among its members Coca Cola Co, PepsiCo Inc, Mars Inc and Hershey Co, funded the review of research used as a basis for policymaking.
The report disputes the quality of evidence used by the U.S. government, the World Health Organization, and other health organizations that have advised people to cut down consumption of added sugars to promote health.
The report also said that the differing recommendations by the health organizations are confusing the public.
AIM also published an editorial calling the move of health officials as "politicization of science." The editorial also said that the recent guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Public Health England, and WHO all show "remarkable consistency."
This is not the first time that food companies fund such kind of study. The food industry has previously funded research that raises questions about public health guidelines on consumption.
Findings of previous separate researches indicated that diet sodas promote weight loss better than water, and that children and adolescents who eat candy tend to weigh less.