Sunday, March 24, 2013

Why Results of Sugar Studies are Unclear


Who is willing to go without sugar, even with financial incentives? Even on behalf of sugar research, who would the control groups be?

  • People who are going to lie--"Sure I'll go without sugar for 6 months for your study!"
  • People who go into it honestly, but fail--"Um, Mr. Researcher, I, uh, had an accident the other day, and then the day after that, and, uh, I failed."

I am concluding that there are two types of people. The liars and the failures. Kidding. There are a great number of people across the globe giving up sugar for weeks and months and years at a time, but how are the researchers going to pinpoint these perfect candidates for their studies? It seems to me like studies are done locally by the institutions performing them. This local cohort of people I would tend to believe fall into one of the above two categories. 

My oh so brilliant solution? Researchers ought to hire a savvy social media person to collect contact info on people around the globe who are, on their own, giving up sugar. These people blog and use other social media outlets to share their experiences. I think this is our best shot at collecting accurate stats about sugar and human health. 

"Since the latter part of the twentieth century, it has been questioned whether a diet high in sugars, especially refined sugars, is bad for health. Sugar has been linked to obesity and suspected of being implicated in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, macular degeneration and tooth decay. Numerous studies have been undertaken to try to clarify the position but the results remain largely unclear, mainly because of the difficulty of finding populations for use as controls that do not consume sugars."

As an afterthought, I suppose another way to go about studying sugar's effect on human health would be to categorize groups of people by how much sugar they consume. Then require your control group to eat a certain amount of sugar, additionally. Gross thought.

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