Statement from Professor Jennie Brand-Miller and Dr Alan Barclay

18 July 2014

The following is a statement from the University of Sydney's Professor Jennie Brand-Miller and Dr Alan Barclay from the Glycemic Index Foundation (Ltd).

We welcome the report (PDF) of an independent inquiry into a complaint against us as authors of The Australian Paradox: A Substantial Decline in Sugars Intake over the Same Timeframe that Overweight and Obesity Have Increased (Nutrients 2011) and The Australian Paradox Revisited (Nutrients 2012).

The inquiry recommended that the University dismiss the allegations. This is a win for science and a loss for those who reject the scientific process.

The report states that both Professor Brand-Miller and Dr Barclay presented as open, honest and well-intentioned academics.

At the centre of the debate is whether or not, in Australia, there has been a consistent and substantial decline in added sugar intake over the same timeframe that obesity has increased.

The inquiry established that the methodology of the Australian Bureau of Statistics includes added sugars contained in highly processed foods, including the factoring in of imports and exports of manufactured foods containing added sugars, in addition to domestic sugar deliveries to manufacturers.

The inquiry concluded that the data do exhibit a steady decline over the period 1980 to 1999.160

Furthermore, it was considered reasonable to discuss a nationally-averaged per capita decline in total added sugar intake in Australia from the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organisation data (referenced in the 2011 article).

Professor Brand-Miller and Dr Barclay are preparing a paper for a major journal that updates The Australian Paradox, and specifically addresses the matters raised in the inquiry so that the misunderstandings of the original paper are avoided.

Please note:

Professor Brand-Miller and Dr Barclay will not be making any further comment on this issue

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