For me it's inexpressible how stunning this finding is, I'm happy , however, for many diabetic people whose doctors will hopefully start to advise them to cut back on sugars.
I just wanted to share this new study and hear your thoughts.
asked byBones_1 (548)
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on February 28, 2013
at 04:41 PM
Coming out of Lustig's research group, it's no surprise to me.
on February 28, 2013
at 04:48 PM
I'm old enough to remember when it was common knowledge and cutting back on sugary foods was what you did to lose weight/prevent diabetes, etc. It always amazed me when I would read that "we don't know what causes diabetes" because we used to. I often wonder who funds these things that we see all the time.
Boy, did we take a major wrong turn with our country's health 50 years ago.
on March 01, 2013
at 02:31 PM
Stephan Guyenet in comments here
"Bittman misunderstood the study. The study confirmed what has been well established for a long time: obesity is the main risk factor for diabetes. However, it also found that sugar was associated with diabetes risk even after controlling for obesity. In other words, both obesity and sugar consumption were associated with diabetes risk.
We have always known that there are factors besides obesity that contribute to diabetes risk, including physical inactivity and genetics. This study suggests that one of those factors is sugar consumption.
However, the study has some major methodological limitations. The FAO database it is based on was not designed to do this kind of study. It reports food supply data, not food consumption data (as pointed out by Melissa McEwen). The two are correlated but not the same. Plus the data aren't always very accurate, depending on the country. Another limitation is that this is an "ecological study", in other words it compares populations rather than individuals. In the paper, they applied some sophisticated statistical techniques to the data to minimize some of these issues, but there's no getting around the fact that the data set they used is inferior to what is typically used for prospective observational studies that compare individuals.
And it turns out that those prospective studies have not consistently found that total sugar intake predicts diabetes risk, although they do tend to find that sugar-sweetened beverage consumption predicts risk. My take is that the latest study is interesting, and it adds meaningfully to the existing evidence, but it's hardly a smoking gun."