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Providing the scientific facts on sugar and health from Australian and New Zealand experts
Feb. 2014
In the news
Research update

Are we addicted to food?
Consensus statement from the European EuroFAST academic group.

In this issue:


New SRAS Website


Established in 2002, the SRAS developed as a significant and valued resources for use in New Zealand. Now SRAS has become a trans-Tasman resource, receiving input, review and guidance from a wider group of independent scientific advisors, drawing on expertise from both countries.
Updated fact sheets on sugar intakes, sugar and diabetes, and sugar and dental health are now available with further to follow.

Sugar controversy

Sugar has become a controversial nutrition topic and a popular public health concern. Who could now blame anyone for assuming that sugar is toxic, addictive and causes a multitude of health concerns? There are constant conflicting messages in the media, in popular diet books, and from apparent health advocates. Often the science is oversimplified in the need to get a health message across and in the end it is difficult to know what is substantiated scientific evidence and what is merely opinion. In order to address the confusion, clear and evidence based communication is needed. A wide range of evidence needs to be carefully considered. With so many emotions and opinions at play in the sugar debate, a critical view of the science should be taken so that an accurate picture is provided. There is certainly an altruistic belief that a blanket recommendation for people to cut down on foods and drinks high in sugars is a sole solution to solving obesity. There have been strong calls to drastically restrict sugars intake and to eliminate sugars and sugary beverages completely from the diet. However well-meaning, this somewhat singular approach to such a complex issue often ignores the state of the more

Dental health - sugar and other factors involved
By Professor Bernadette Drummond

What and how we choose to eat and drink, as well as toothbrushing and flossing and many other factors influence the risk of developing dental caries (tooth decay). Understanding, preventing and managing tooth decay requires addressing all the contributing factors together. Our teeth are undeniably important. Adults usually have 28 in the mouth including incisors, canines, premolars and molars. Teeth crowns are comprised of three layers:

  • Enamel which is the hard, mineralised surface –the important first barrier.
  • Dentine which is a partly porous mineralised connective tissue layer
  • Pulp which is the soft centre of the tooth containing blood vessels and nerves.

    Dental decay can occur when teeth are coated in a dental plaque that has bacteria which make acids from fermentable carbohydrates, including starch and sugars. If this occurs over a period of time, cavities develop and eventually infection if the cavities remain untreated. Below are some evidence-based facts and advice from dental health experts regarding the range of contributing factors for dental caries and how best to manage these to ensure happy healthy teeth:

    Types of food

  • All fermentable carbohydrate (including sugars and starch) containing foods and drinks have the potential to encourage the growth more

  • More info available at

    The Sugar Research Advisory Service (SRAS) is a scientific information service which aims to encourage an evidence-based view of the role of sugars in nutrition and health. The work of SRAS is guided by Australian and New Zealand independent experts. Find out more about the SRAS Advisors here.

    Copyright © 2012 Sugar Research Advisory Service, All rights reserved.
    Our Contact details are:
    The Secretariat, SRAS
    PO Box 5224
    Wellesley St
    Auckland 1141