Due to the fact that many people agree that excess sugar is never good for the body, but doing little to actually control their levels of sugar consumption, the UCSF has set up a site to teach all and sundry that they need to protect their overall health via minimum sugar consumption, and to disseminate whatever is worth knowing about sugar in general.
Set up by 11 researchers from the UCSF, The SugarScience Initiative put up their research at SugarScience.org – and the site provides evidence that sugar and sweetened food is never good for human consumption, while enjoining the wide public to cut down on refined sugar or even remove it from their diets.
Before putting up this sugar repository site, the UCSF team has spent a year analyzing thousands of scientific articles and papers on sugar and its health benefits or effects. The researchers were able to publish graphics, sound bites, scientific reports, and public health messages to educate the public that there is always a link between levels of sugar consumption and liver damage among other diseases like obesity and diabetes.
According to the lead investigator of the project, Laura Schmidt, a UCSF health policy professor, the main idea behind this SugarScience initiative is to help the end-users, that is consumers, as well as doctors and government policymakers that in spite of the wide array of conflicting information on sugar out there, information on the site has been distilled and arranged to make perfect sense.
“There’s a lot of confusion and misperception and conflicting information out there around sugar and health. We wanted to develop an authoritative, go-to place where people can get truthful information, and we wanted to package it in a way that’s accessible to the average person,” Schmidt said.
Another member of the group, Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, who happens to be the director of UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital states that “the purpose is to bring science into the discussion. The discussions will, I’m sure, lead to an entire range of policy outcomes. But mostly we just want to get the information out there.”
And Dr. Tomas Aragon, a health officer at the San Francisco Department of Public Health adds that “we’re now just beginning to understand the impact that sugar has, beyond that you’re just drinking empty calories. I don’t think people really understand it. They don’t really know what’s going on. But sugar is having a huge impact on society, and we’re all paying for it.”
As against the daily consumption of 6-9 teaspoons of sugar recommended by the American Heart Association, the average American is said to consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day – a third of this from sodas and the rest from processed foods that would never indicate sugar contents.