Sugar Project – Volunteers Needed
“Sugar has 56 Names” only scratched the surface of all the other names which have been reported to me. By now I am aware of over 300 names.
Please help me unmask America’s food supply and an innovative start up called “perfact” collect basic data on added sugars so we can publish an updated “sugar matrix” in a collaborative open-knowledge format. If your contribution is helpful, you will be listed as a contributor. Check out this recent story about our efforts by Manya Goldstein.
If interested, simply email my Global Education Director, Wolfram Alderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and include “Sugar Project” in the message header.
Meet Tom Gassner, Team Leader for the Sugar Matrix Project. Tom holds a degree in Exercise Physiology and Sports Administration (find him on LinkedIn). Once you sign up, Tom will be your liason for the Sugar Project.
If only “added sugars” could be so simple!
Sugar Project Details
The goal of the Sugar Project is to define what constitutes “added sugar” on a scientific basis. This entails defining what constitutes sugar first. For example, along the process from a corn grain via flour, starch, dextrin, maltodextrin, glucose syrup and high fructose corn syrup, where lies the border between sugar and non-sugar? Understanding the biochemistry of these sugars and their metabolic impacts is key.
This academically oriented project is independent and complementary to definitions put forward by regulatory bodies which are ultimately subject to political processes such as the FDA or FAO.
This project is carried out as a distributed, expert-supervised meta-study of saccharide research studies, and requires advanced academic skills. It entails the following steps:
- Contributors pick or are assigned a candidate substance (If there are more contributors than substances, substances are assigned to multiple contributors in parallel.)
- Contributors fill out and return a substance report form which has been approved by experts in the field. Contributors cite references that are as close to the original research as possible. The cited references are weighed by degree of confidence and evidence-base.
- Experts review the substance return forms and do one of the following:
- make a final decision on whether the substance constitutes sugar by the Sugar Project’s definition
- change the Sugar Project’s definition of what constitutes sugar
- revise the substance report form and initiate another round of data collection
Final and intermediate results are fully publicized with the names of all collaborators who made a contribution that become part of the final definition and sugar list. Data integrity and accuracy is permanently maintained during and after publication.
We actively share our data with public health leaders and organizations, and support projects like the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation Added Sugar Repository.
Partners in the Sugar Matrix Project Listed Below
The Hypoglycemia Support Foundation provides support, advocacy and information about the causes, prevention and management of hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar. The HSF has been a patient’s advocate for almost four decades. Because HSF was founded by a patient, the organization places the people affected by the condition at the center of the conversation. HSF also brings together the expert opinions of world renown health care leaders who challenge the status quo and look to the source of metabolic disorders such as blood sugar dysregulation. HSF believes in the power of community and that powerful networks are essential to healthcare, healing and staying healthy.
Two nonprofit organizations, the EChO – Eradicate Childhood Obesity Foundation (EChO), and the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation (HSF), have joined in partnership to offer a most comprehensive list of sugars called the “Added Sugar Repository.” Developed by the EChO team as a service to the public health field, the added sugar list is important because these sugars are the leading marker for unhealthy processed foods and they are present in 75% of the foods and beverages consumed in the United States.
The Added Sugar Repository (ASR) extends beyond the information provided by the FDA and includes identified names and specific examples of U.S. food products for each added sugar. The ASR currently includes 262 names for sugar used in processed foods and beverages.