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UCSF Launches SugarScience Site

Update Date: Nov 11, 2014 10:17 AM EST

A research team from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has launched the SugarScience website. SugarScience is an initiative created to provide the public with information gathered from the most authoritative scientific findings on how added sugar affects health.

"The average American consumes nearly three times the recommended amount of added sugar every day, which is taking a tremendous toll on our nation's health," said lead researcher, Laura Schmidt, PhD, a UCSF professor in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy reported in the university's press release. "This is the definitive science that establishes the causative link between sugar and chronic disease across the population."

To create the initiative, the UCSF team worked with scientists from UC Davis and Emory University School of Medicine to review research from more than 8,000 published scientific articles that studied the health impact of added sugar. Based from these findings, the researchers concluded that added sugar was strongly tied to many chronic illnesses, such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease, as well as other health conditions, which included Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

"There's a lot of confusion and misperception and conflicting information out there around sugar and health," Schmidt explained according to the San Francisco Gate. "We wanted to develop an authoritative, go-to place where people can get truthful information, and we wanted to package it in a way that's accessible to the average person."

"The purpose is to bring science into the discussion," added Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital, who is also part of the initiative. "The discussions will, I'm sure, lead to an entire range of policy outcomes. But mostly we just want to get the information out there."

The SugarScience team, which consists of 12 members, will continue to comb through scientific journals for newly published articles on how added sugar can affect physical and mental health.

The SugarScience initiative has partners with other outreach programs throughout the country, such as the National Association of City and County Health Organizations.

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