The Holy Terrors

Sweeteners and Food Terrorism 

Sweeteners Fact and FictionThe annual meeting of the AADE offered much to like, but a scientific session on sweeteners belongs at the top of the list. Claudia Shwide-Slavin and Alan Barclay gave a concise tour of science and fiction about this sweet stuff that worries the Puritans among us.

They had us from the start with a smart list of myths perpetuated by people who should know better. Just a few months ago, Robert Lustig asked for an endorsement of his claim that “sugar is toxic.” We declined.

So seeing that claim at the top of the myth list was comforting. But they didn’t stop there.

Sugar Is Definitely ToxicShwide-Slavin reviewed a series of the absurd headlines that bombard us with fear mongering about all kinds of sweeteners. Barclay aptly labels such reporting as “food terrorism.” Unfortunately, some researchers participate in that circus. They bait the press with sensational press releases about animal studies that might be irrelevant to humans.

Not content to stop there, Swide-Slavin and Barclay moved on to a thorough review of the evidence base for both caloric and noncaloric sweeteners. They patiently explained the weaknesses of studies used for fear mongering. They offered pragmatic advice about how to advise clients about sugars and sweeteners based on facts, not feelings.

So take a look at their presentation (here). Or better yet, pick up a copy of their no-nonsense book on sweeteners (here). You’re unlikely to find a more complete review of fact and fiction about the sweet stuff we love and sometimes fear.

The Holy Terrors, photograph © Darwin Bell / flickr

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August 15, 2016

One Response to “Sweeteners and Food Terrorism ”

  1. August 15, 2016 at 12:42 pm, Stephen Phillips said:

    Thanks Ted
    And Kudos to Swide-Slavin and Barclay for really good science and making my NNS Iced Coffee more enjoyable today

    “Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor (SPLENDA) of their own.”
    Bertrand Russel …

    Stephen Phillips
    American Association of Bariatric Counselors