Research Topic

What Level of Added or Free Sugar Is Commensurate with Good Health Outcomes?

About this Research Topic

Many authorities have set an upper limit of 10% of total energy as added or free sugar. Free sugar – as opposed to added sugar – also includes sugars naturally occurring in fruit and vegetable juices. In addition, WHO and UK health experts have suggested that an upper limit of 5% as free sugars is probably ...

Many authorities have set an upper limit of 10% of total energy as added or free sugar. Free sugar – as opposed to added sugar – also includes sugars naturally occurring in fruit and vegetable juices. In addition, WHO and UK health experts have suggested that an upper limit of 5% as free sugars is probably desirable, particularly in relation to dental caries and childhood obesity. However, there is no high-quality evidence to support an upper limit of 5% as either added or free sugars.

This Research Topic in Frontiers in Nutrition (Nutrition and Metabolism specialty section) will therefore seek to expand our understanding of the role of added/free sugars and their replacements (starches, fat, protein, alcohol, low digestibility sugars, intense sweeteners) in nutrition and metabolism across the lifecycle, including pregnancy, childhood, and older age. Benefits, unintended consequences and undesirable substitutions will be explored.

All types of studies are welcomed including acute (meal or day-long studies), chronic feeding, randomized controlled trials, prospective cross-sectional cohort studies, systematic reviews (narrative reviews are not suitable), and meta-analyses. Studies on the effect of ‘sugar’ taxes and other regulatory changes on intake of sugars over time will also be considered.

We are also interested in a wide range of outcomes. In particular, we hope to attract investigators who study the effects of different levels of added/free sugars/intense sweeteners, on the prevalence and incidence of dental caries, obesity, and eating disorders in children, adolescents, and adults. However, papers describing the effects of different types of sugars and sugar replacements on micronutrient intake, glucose and lipid metabolism, fatty liver, gastrointestinal effects, and changes in the microbiome will also be welcomed. Similarly, studies on simultaneous changes in the proteome, transcriptome, genome and epigenome, as they relate to sugars in the diet, will be considered.


Keywords: Added Sugar, Free Sugar, Health Outcomes, Obesity, Dietary Sugars


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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