Monday, October 06, 2008

How about some science to go along with your cereal?

A nice change of blogging diet today, with this latest post from Sandy over at Junkfood Science.  Her post summarizes the latest, definitive study on sugar and diet in children which concluded that:

  • On the whole, the present study does not support the common view that the quality of carbohydrate may be implicated in the current obesity epidemic in childhood. At least among healthy young children eating 6 times/day, carbohydrate quality does not appear to be relevant to their body-composition development between ages 2 and 7 years, whether cross-sectionally, prospectively, or concurrently.
Or in simple terms, the hysteria and dogma around childhood obesity and the evils of sugar are exactly that: hysteria and dogma, not substantiated by the science.  As Sandy writes:
  • The results of this study were not unexpected. This study only adds to the body of the soundest evidence which, for some fifty years, has continued to demonstrate that sugars in any form do not lead to obesity or chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cancers. The scientific literature also shows that “healthy eating” for kids does not necessarily mean low-sugar or high-fiber.
Later she contrasts the cited science with the statements emanating from vested interest groups, including Consumer Reports. 
Often, I am asked who are people to believe when they are reading? Who do they trust?  The corollary question is, how do I distinguish ideology from science?  This post, and the obesity myth in general, are a great illustration of who and what to believe and how to distinguish "truth" from dogma.