Sugar Association supports important scientific dialogue on the role of sugar and sweet taste infacilitating nutrient-dense nourishment for infants and toddlers

 WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 3, 2017) – Nutrition Today, a peer reviewed journal, published a supplement titled Sweet Taste Perception and Feeding Toddlers in its most recent edition. This supplement is a needed collection of science and objective thinking on the diets of a child’s first 1000 days of life by experts in nutrition, eating behavior and sensory science.

The supplement, which includes ten papers, resulted from a roundtable discussion organized in part by The University of Colorado and The Sugar Association in October 2015. The event focused on three topics: (1) dietary and nutrient intakes, (2) developmental and sensory aspects of feeding, and (3) factors contributing to feeding success with nutrient-dense foods. The newly published papers expand on important themes and provide key learnings from the roundtable, focusing on what we know and don’t know about how sweet taste during this formative period affects dietary patterns for life.

“The Sugar Association recognized the need for an evidence-informed dialogue on sugar’s role in feeding, innate tastes, and developmental milestones during early life,” said Courtney Gaine, PhD, RD, president and CEO of The Sugar Association. “The hope is that structured conversations like this bring us closer to consensus on some topics and, particularly in this case, helps identify and spur new research that is desperately needed in this understudied demographic of infants and toddlers.”

The move to stimulate dietary and taste perception research in infants and toddlers is part of The Sugar Association’s restored commitment to address knowledge gaps and support independent, peer-reviewed science. The Association will continue to support the examination of the role of naturally present or added sugars in the diet across the lifespan, including an ongoing study into sugar’s role in facilitating the transition from infant feeding to a dietary pattern that includes acceptance of and preference for nutrient-dense foods.

Financial support for the supplement was provided by The Sugar Association. The association had no role in the writing or editing of the supplement, and research topics were determined by the respective scientists. Recent literature suggests this type of framework, rooted in transparency and communication, leads to increased public confidence in industry-funded research1, a goal the organization is working to achieve.

The supplement is available through free open access for one full year and can be found at

About The Sugar Association:

The Sugar Association, founded in 1943, is the scientific voice of the U.S. sugar industry, making a difference by continuously supporting scientific research and sharing our knowledge of sugar to increase consumer understanding and confidence in the role that sugar plays in a nutritious, balanced and enjoyable diet.

The Sugar Association represents nearly 12,000 beet and cane sugar growers, as well as processors and refiners of sugar.  The U.S. sugar industry generates 142,000 jobs in 22 states and contributes $20 billion to the economy annually.


Alexander N, Rowe S, Brackett RE, et al. Achieving a transparent, actionable framework for public-private partnerships for food and nutrition research. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101(6):1359Y1363.

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