April 9, 2010

Group Claims Sugar, Obesity Linked Unfairly

Sugar, long accused of being a major factor in the U.S. obesity epidemic, has gotten a bad rap, according to comments made by the head of an industry group dedicated to the sweetener on Thursday.

Andrew Briscoe, president and CEO of Sugar Association Inc., claims that the per capita consumption of sugar has declined over the past ten years. In an April 8 interview with Reuters, Briscoe said that high fructose corn syrup, not sugar, is the primary sweetener used in soft drinks and other beverages.

In fact, Briscoe notes than less than five percent of all American sugar deliveries are used by drink manufacturers, while United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that beverage makers use 15-times more high fructose corn syrup than sugar in their products.

USDA statistics also show that the average per capita sugar consumption in the U.S. has fallen by 40-percent since 1970, Briscoe points out, adding, sugar is not part of the problem"¦ The data simply doesn't back up that caloric sweeteners are the cause for the obesity epidemic in this country."

The Sugar Association was founded in 1943 by members of the American sweetener industry.

According to the group's official website, "The mission of the Sugar Association is to promote the consumption of sugar as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle through the use of sound science and research." Furthermore, it states that the organization is "dedicated to the scientific study of sugar's role in food and communication of that role to the public."

Image Courtesy Wikimedia Commons


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