02 August 2011

US Guidelines for Sugar May Be Too High

You Think!!!. Hopefully results from a new study will end the plate method of nutrition. The study shows that adults who consume 25 percent of their daily calories from fructose or high-fructose corn syrup beverages for two weeks experience increases in serum levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Yet, this percentage is within the current government guidelines. Another reason why we don't need government involvement in nutritional guidelines.

The authors of the latest study are hoping the results will spur the government to reevaluate the guidelines. Fat chance, I say for this to happen as this would have to affect government subsidies and turn certain agricultural interests against government.
While the official print is not set for publication until October 2011, the press release is interesting and thought provoking to say it mildly.

Senior author Kimber Stanhope, PhD, from the departments of nutrition and molecular biosciences, University of California, Davis, and colleagues say “the study was conducted to help sort out a discrepancy in 2 prominent sets of recommendations - the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, jointly published by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture, recommend that people consume a maximum of 25% of their daily calories as added sugars. In contrast, the American Heart Association recommends an upper limit of 5%.”

"While there is evidence that people who consume sugar are more likely to have heart disease or diabetes, it is controversial as to whether high sugar diets may actually promote these diseases, and dietary guidelines are conflicting," remarked Dr. Stanhope in a press release.

The study was done to highlight the effects of the higher government-recommended limits of sugar consumption. The study is too small (48 individuals) to be taken seriously and involved consuming beverages that contained fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, or glucose at the 25 percent upper limit for calorie intake for two weeks. The study did not include sucrose.

The researchers claim that survey (but no data from any survey is included) suggests that thirteen percent of the US population consumes 25 percent or more of their calories from added sugar. The researchers conclude, their findings indicate the need for the government to reconsider its recommendations that the maximum upper limit of 25 percent of total energy be received from added sugar.

For this study to be sufficient to make such bold recommendations seems a stretch and more like a plea (although not part of the release) for funding of a larger study.

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