Sugar and oral health (Part 1)

Posted by watchmen
November 18, 2020
Posted in OPINION

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans “gets it mostly right,” says the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

The CSPI describes itself as America’s food and health watchdog. The Dietary Guidelines contains the American government’s nutrition advice for the public and forms the basis for most federal, state and local food programs and policies. 

“Contrary to the notion that nutrition advice is always changing, the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee reaffirmed the strong scientific grounds to support many long-standing recommendations,” the CSPI said in a statement. “They are the starting point for much-needed efforts to overhaul the poor-quality diets that are making most of us sick, driving up our health costs, and undermining our national security.”

The Dietary Guidelines, released in mid-June, is updated and released every five years by the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services (our equivalent is the Department of Health). First released in 1980, US law requires the Dietary Guidelines to be based on the current body of nutrition science.

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines concluded that dietary patterns rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy and seafood are associated with a lower risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hip fracture, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and all-cause mortality. It recommends lower consumption of red and processed meats, refined grains and foods and beverages high in added sugars.

It affirmed the science underlying recommendations to limit saturated fat in the diet. Top sources of saturated fat in the average diet are beef, pork, processed meats, cheese, whole and two percent milk and butter.

The Dietary Guideline recommended that Americans reduce their consumption of added sugars from less than 10 percent of calories to less than six percent of calories for anyone aged two or older.

The Dietary Guidelines failed to reach a strong conclusion on the impact of sugary drinks on weight gain based on a review of evidence from 2012 to 2019. The overall stronger limit on added sugars, which is based on a broader body of evidence, ‘’is an indication that a healthy diet leaves little room for excess sugars, including from soda and other sugary drinks,’’ the CSPI observed.

Hear, hear. Filipinos may want to consider the CSPI’s observations, coming as it is from one of America’s respected public health advocacy group.

Founded in 1971, it is perhaps the oldest independent, science-based consumer advocacy organization in the United States. CSPI provides practical, science-based advice to consumers interested in nutrition, food safety and health, and leads advocacy for a healthier food environment in communities nationwide.

CSPI’s funding comes from the hundreds of thousands of subscribers to its award-winning Nutrition Action Healthletter – which has never accepted advertising – and from foundations and individual donors who support policies that protect the environment and public health. CSPI takes no corporate or government donations.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, CSPI is maintaining an evidence hub for vaccines, treatments and tests, and is working to stop the spread of disease by advocating for worker safety. It is policing the marketplace and urging regulators to crack down on supplement manufacturers and others who would try to exploit the pandemic for profit.



Dr. Joseph D. Lim is a former Associate Dean of the UE College of Dentistry, former Dean of the College of Dentistry, National University, past president and honorary fellow of the Asian Oral Implant Academy, and honorary fellow of the Japan College of Oral Implantologists. Honorary Life Member of Thai Association of Dental Implantology. For questions on dental health, e-mail or text 0917-8591515./WDJ

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