Pragmatism, rigorous science and affordability are among considerations that should be front and center for the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), according to a range of industry and other groups. Objectively examining the evidence about what works and is practical in improving dietary patterns should guide the drafting of the dietary guidelines, said Campbell Genn, director of nutrition policy at the Sugar Association.

Ms. Genn cited evidence that reducing sugar intake alone hasn’t reduced obesity despite a 30% decrease in added sugar consumption since 2000, a period over which child and adult obesity rates increased. Not all foods with added sugars have the same impact on health and diet quality, Ms. Genn said. She noted that sugar serves functional roles in food and removing it in some instances results in increased calorie content. Seeking to put intake into perspective, Ms. Genn reminded the committee that “when consumed in moderation real sugar continues to bring taste, function and pleasure to a healthy, balanced diet.”

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