- Sugars and Health - Evidence Map
- This evidence map on sugars and health outcomes was developed using an iterative process. Evidence Map data are being used to support a stakeholders ‘ decision-making on refining research questions and topic prioritization. The goal of this Future Research Needs project is to characterize the available evidence regarding the intake of sugars and health outcomes and identify priority areas where additional research needs remain.
- Authors of Report
- Methodology description
- Abstract submitted to Experimental Biology 2014:
Sugars and health: Applying evidence mapping techniques to assess the evidence.
Objective: Evidence mapping (EM) is a novel, systematic method for describing the volume and characteristics of research in a broad field. We applied EM to evaluate the empirical evidence of the state of science on the relationships between sugars and cardiometabolic health-related outcomes.
Methods: A pre-defined, systematic study selection process was applied to a broad Medline search (through April 2013) of the existing literature on sugars. Studies reporting cardiometabolic risk factors and/or related clinical outcomes were selected for this study. Data from the studies were extracted and deposited to a data repository. Descriptive analyses were performed.
Results: Our EM included 207 studies (196 intervention and 11 cohort studies). Of the intervention studies, the most common sugar interventions were sucrose (40%) and fructose (31%), and the top two controls were glucose (14%) and starch (13%). The most studied outcomes were glycemic profiles (27%), plasma lipids (11%), and anthropometrics (7%). Studies were generally short in duration (median 26 days, ranging from <1 to 730 days). 89% were in adults and 6% were in children. The 11 cohort studies investigated 3 different sugar exposures and 9 different hard clinical outcomes.
Conclusions: An extensive but heterogeneous body of evidence exists in this broad field of research. EM is a useful method for identifying "hot" research areas and research gaps. Evidence-based methods are effective to direct future research.
- Funding Source
- The International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) North American Branch.