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Recently published research in The BMJ is providing fresh concerns about sugar consumption levels, as some industry stakeholders disagree with the conclusion and CPG brands look to innovate in the low- and no-sugar space. While this recent analysis is the latest in a string of research into sugar intake, “there is no new evidence here,” Courtney Gaine, president and CEO of the Sugar Association told FoodNavigator-USA. “This is a review of existing evidence, and even a well-executed systematic review is only as good as the studies that are inputted. Essentially, garbage in equals garbage out, and it is known that added sugars literature suffers from significant variability when it comes to definitions, intake measurements and control of energy and other diet and lifestyle variables.” On top of these variables, Gaine noted that the review is “primarily focused on sugar-sweetened beverages,” and not all sources of added sugars. “It is clear the outcomes of studies do depend on source, which is why there is now recognition that food and beverage sources of added sugars should be viewed differently in scientific analyses,” she added. “While popular amongst some to proclaim that reducing added sugars (to such levels as never before seen in over the 100 years of UDSA’s record-keeping) will improve health, the real-world data suggest otherwise, as we’ve seen sugar consumption drop 30% since 2000 while obesity rates in adults have tripled and in children, quadrupled.”

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