About

Cristin Kearns Couzens is a Senior Consultant at the University of Colorado Center for Health Administration and an Acting Instructor at the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Her degrees include a B.A. in Neuroscience from Trinity College, a D.D.S. from The University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, and an M.B.A. in Health Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver.

Dr. Couzens first became interested in sugar politics in her role as Operations Manager for the Kaiser Permanente Dental Care Program in 2007.  While attending the annual Institute for Oral Health Conference focusing on periodontal (gum) disease and diabetes, she received instructions on what to discuss with patients with diabetes from the Program Director of the National Diabetes Education Program at the Centers for Disease Control. Under “healthy food choices” limitations were recommended for saturated fats and salts, but there was no mention of limitations of sugar intake. After challenging the second keynote speaker who promoted the same message, she was told “there is no evidence linking sugar to chronic disease.”

After years of counseling dental patients to reduce their intake of sugars to help manage oral disease (especially as the Dental Director of a low-income dental clinic), the lack of advice on sugars to diabetics seemed conspicuous. Did science support the omission, or were other forces at play? Drawing from her scientific background, and learning from pioneers challenging conventional wisdom (particularly Marion Nestle , Gary Taubes, and Wendell Potter), Dr. Couzens began focusing on trade associations that promote the consumption of sugars to look for answers. Sugarpolitics.com was launched to aid in bringing her research to a wider audience.

5 Responses to “About”

  1. Rebecca Peterson February 21, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Cristin, It was enlightening listening to your lecture yesterday in Berkeley. Your website is a great source for learning more. I read “Sugar Blues” a few years ago after a recommendation by a patient. But I never took the time to look further into the industry politics of sugar because “what can 1 person do”. You are an example of the difference 1 person can make. Thank you, Rebecca RDH

  2. Allan G. Locke March 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Hello Dr. Couzens. My name is Allan Locke, and had researched Licorice, or Liquourice as it is sometimes spelled. The product is 30-50 times sweeter than sucrose. 90% of the harvest of licorice is sold to Big Tobacco. So if one were to combine the addictive qualities of nicotine with a product 30-50 times sweeter than sucrose, it would create….

  3. Joey Dahlstrom March 10, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    Thank you for your efforts to uncover the sugar industry’s actions. I am a dentist in BC Canada and have long suspected PR tactics by the sugar industry to further it’s image and profits. One need only look at the approval process alternate sugar sources must go through to be used as substitutes and not just considered dietary supplements by the FDA or Health Canada. Thanks again for your investigation and keep it going– you certainly have the support from all dentists!

    • Nina April 23, 2013 at 8:12 am #

      Cristin, I am a journalist from German TV and currently working on a broadcast about sugar. How can I get in contact with you? Thanks!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Exposed: Sweet Lies from the Sugar Industry | Anne Landman's Blog - October 23, 2012

    [...] at bay, and keep scientists from asking: Does sugar kill?”, is authored by Gary Taubes and Cristen Couzens. Taubes is an American science writer who authored the books Why we Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad [...]

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