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Deborah Bailin

About the author: Deborah Bailin is a democracy analyst for UCS’s Center for Science and Democracy and researches political and societal barriers to formulating science-based policies. She came to UCS in 2012 as an ACLS Public Fellow and holds a PhD in English from the University of Maryland, where she studied the cultural influence of Charles Darwin on American literature. Subscribe to Deborah's posts

3 Ways of Looking at a Peanut Butter Sandwich—Or, the Challenge of Avoiding Added Sugar

If you haven’t yet seen the movie “the food industry doesn’t want you to see,” now—as the kids are heading back to school—is the perfect time. Preceding our Lewis M. Branscomb forum on science, democracy, and food policy last May, UCS hosted a pre-release screening of Fed Up that left audience members setting aside their sugary drinks and greasy tubs of popcorn in awe.   Read More

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Does Domino Sugar Want You to Swallow Sugar-coated Science—All for a Good Cause?

A smoker-friendly tobacco festival to prevent lung cancer. A car rally to reduce air pollution. A mud wrestling contest to improve hygiene. Or, how about a bake sale to solve malnutrition and hunger in America? Read More

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Sugar Association Sweet-Talks Attendees at a Diabetes Conference

“Sugar gets a bad rap.”

According to the Sugar Association, this was, apparently, the sentiment expressed by a majority of the attendees that stopped by the trade group’s booth earlier this summer at the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Annual Meeting. Read More

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New Vaccine Misinformation Book Gets the Science Wrong

Fears about vaccines have been around for as long as vaccines have. Ben Franklin, like our other founding fathers, knew a thing or two about these fears—before the first real vaccine was even invented.

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Sugar, Science, and Your Summer BBQ

With the FDA’s comment period on proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label—including the labeling of added sugar—coming to a close August 1, I find myself reflecting a bit on the sugar many of us have been consuming over the course of the summer picnic season. Read More

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5 Steps to Decode a Cereal Box—or, Where Hidden Added Sugar Lies

While the health conscious among us may take pains to avoid sugary foods and beverages, a major problem with avoiding added sugar is that it lies hidden in places where we wouldn’t expect to find it—like yogurt and granola bars. Sugar is added to not just obviously sweetened products like soda and cookies and Froot Loops but to seemingly healthy ones, too—some of which are the worst offenders. Read More

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Women, Independence Day, and Our National Landmarks at Risk

“How many whales were killed to make all those whalebone corsets worn by American women during the 18th< and 19th centuries?” asked Dr. Heather Huyck, president of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites. She posed this question to me as we were speaking about how the rising seas, floods, and wildfires brought by climate change and threatening some of the United States’ most cherished historic sites also threaten what future generations will know about women in our nation’s past. Read More

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Fed Up and Sugared Out with the Food Fight over Facts

A calorie is not a calorie,” explained Dr. Robert Lustig, pediatric endocrinologist and advisory board member for the new film Fed Up. As he spoke, Lustig sliced into a juicy steak, accompanied by a green salad and a glass of red wine. “However,” he quipped in reference to food industry sniping against public health advocates’ sugar intake recommendations, “I am not the food police! By all means, order dessert!” Read More

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Are You Swallowing Sugar-coated Science—All for a Good Cause?

National parks conservation. Getting kids to read. Breast cancer awareness. These are all great causes, and it can be worth applauding when corporations donate a portion of their profits to supporting them.

But corporate social responsibility by food companies should be scrutinized carefully. Read More

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Sugar-coating Science: How the Food Industry Misleads Consumers on Sugar

When I was growing up, my parents strictly limited the amount of sugar I was allowed to eat. I remember one day throwing a tantrum in the grocery store—I must have been 4 or 5—because my mother wouldn’t buy me Froot Loops. I shook the box up and down, transfixed by the big, colorful cartoon bird on the front, and wailed, “But I waaaaant it!” She snatched the box, “No way! The first ingredient is SUGAR.” Read More

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