Research needs and prioritizations for studies linking dietary sugars and potentially related health outcomes

Mei Chung, Ding Ding Wang, Edward Archer, Janine Higgins, Sery Kim, Maren Laughlin, Lu Qi, Susan Raatz, Richard D. Siegel, Joanne Slavin, Dan Steffen, Hope Warshaw, Alice M. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Relationships among dietary sugars and a variety of chronic diseases have spawned interest in investigating the metabolic effects of dietary sugars. An approach developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for assessing Future Research Needs (FRN) was implemented with modifications that integrated an evidence mapping process. Methods: A panel of 14 stakeholders across 7 pre-defined areas of expertise (lay audience, policy makers, health providers, research funders, evidence-based methodologists, product makers, and researchers) was assembled to prioritize research needs. The panel was facilitated by an independent research team. A total of 213 studies were analyzed descriptively for evidence mapping, and the results were used to inform the stakeholder panel discussions on research needs. Results: The stakeholder panel identified and prioritized 14 sets of research questions. The top three high-priority FRN questions selected by the stakeholder panel focused on the effects of dietary sugars on body weight or body composition, fat deposition, and satiety and appetite. Research considerations for the top three research questions and crosscutting research design issues are discussed. Conclusion: Involving a multidisciplinary stakeholder panel to prioritize the direction of future research in this or other content areas has potential to add diverse perspectives to the determination of research needs, and to the development of public health policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalBMC Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 20 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project is supported by the Technical Committee on Carbohydrates of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) North American Branch. ILSI North America is a public, nonprofit foundation that provides a forum to advance understanding of scientific issues related to the nutritional quality and safety of the food supply by sponsoring research programs, educational seminars and workshops, and publications. ILSI North America receives financial support primarily from its industry membership. The sponsor had no role in FRN assessment or preparation of the final report and manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s).


  • Future research needs projects, Sugars, Body weight, Body composition, Appetite
  • Satiety


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