The Dietary Science Foundation
Telephone:+46 70-750 22 16
269 39 Båstad
A new year has just started! Let us summarize 2018, a year when the Dietary Science Foundation put the focus on sugar. We also funded two important research projects: a study of diet for obesity and a study of diet for fatty liver.
First and foremost: thanks a million for all the support you have given to the Dietary Science Foundation during 2018. In total we received 130,000 euros in donations, and December was a record month bringing in 17,200 euros thanks to many generous Christmas and memorial gifts. An especially warm thank you to all our monthly donors. Your regular support is important as it helps us plan our long-term activity. All the gifts that have poured into the fund will enable us to kick off 2019 in the same way we kicked off 2018. So, how did 2018 start? Let’s remember the past year.
At the beginning of 2018, the Detary Science Foundation’s scientific advisory board awarded 120,000 euros to two research projects which can help us gain new knowledge in important areas. Half of the money went to a Norwegian study of diet for obesity. The study is interesting because it will answer two different questions: How does a year of eating a strict low-carbohydrate diet that includes a lot of saturated fat affect the body? And how is weight loss affected by a low-fat diet that includes large amounts of wheat flour and other processed carbohydrates?
The other half of the money went to a study of various dietary treatments for fatty liver. To date there are no major studies of how diet affects fatty liver. The project will compare a strict low-carbohydrate diet and a 5: 2 diet with conventional treatment, and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020. Hopefully an effective treatment will be found, since fatty liver often develops into a chronic condition and increases the risk of liver cancer.
In February, the Dietary Science Foundation also gave a 10,000 euro grant for the planning of an international study of a strict low-carbohydrate diet for type 2 diabetes. Researchers from a number of European countries have met to design the study, which will be the largest ever of its kind.
During 2019, the researchers will apply for money for the project from research financiers in their respective countries. They will also apply for a grant from the Dietary Science Foundation, so if you are not already one of our monthly donors, please consider becoming one using this link. The more of us there are, the better we’ll be able to support the researchers so that they can get this important project started as fast as possible!
In May and June, two heroic sporting achievements were done in support of the Dietary Science Foundation. Stefan Fennsjö swam, cycled and ran a three-day double Ironman. The distance he covered was equivalent to traveling from Stockholm to Gothenburg, and he had the Dietary Science Foundations’s logo on his chest the whole way. Thank you Stefan!
Twenty-two year-old Samuel Backman, 22, cycled the 300 km Vätternrundan for us. If you have not already done so, you can read Samuel Backman’s story via this link. Samuel was diagnosed with Bechterew’s disease (a chronic inflammation of muscle attatchments and joints) when he was 18 years old. The medications he started taking had severe side effects, so he decided to try a drastic change of diet instead. He became symptom-free when he excluded sugar, wheat flour, milk products and red meat from his diet, and started eating more vegetables, root vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, eggs, fish and chicken. Thanks to the strict diet he could ride the Vätternrundan. His fantastic story shows the healing power of good food.
Over the summer we worked hard to get the Dietary Science Foundation approved to receive donations via Facebook. We managed to get started on our Swedish Facebook page and many of you started collecting money for us in connection with your birthdays. From when we started in August to the end of November, nearly 10,000 euros came in through Facebook. A big thank you for that! Next year we hope we’ll be able to get donations through our English site.
In early November, the Dietary Science Foundation started the campaign to draw attention to the large sugar consumption in Sweden. According to our calculations, which are based on the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s statistics, the average Swede consumes about twice as much sugar as they should. And it’s no wonder, because sugar is hidden in a large number of food products, with some products containing truly surprising amounts. During a two week period we published pictures showing the sugar content of different products. The two posts that got the greatest number of shares were one about children’s breakfast cereals (which may contain more sugar than cookies) and another about the chocolate drink O’boy, Nutella and other sugar baddies.
And to show our politicians that they need to do something about the over-consumption of sugar, on World Diabetes Day we set a table for the party of the year close to Sweden’s parliament building:
We displayed the amount of sweetened products that are produced each year for a Swedish two-child family. It made for a long table filled with 60 kg of sweets and chocolate, 173 liters of soda, 17 kg of biscuits and cookies, 19.5 kg of coffee bread… and so on. A dozen parliamentarians visited our tent, which led to discussions about holding a breakfast seminar about sugar at the Parliament House. To be continued…
All of a sudden December was upon us with glad tidings: the study of the role of carbohydrates in stomach pain, IBS, had received a 383,000 euro grant from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Health Care (Forte). This was the first project the Dietary Science Foundation gave a grant to after our founding in 2014. It’s being done at the University of Gothenburg and is the largest study ever done of diet for IBS. The large additional sum of money will enable the researchers to do detailed analyses of how intestinal flora is affected by the diet, as well as other things. Hopefully they will discover important clues as to why so many people develop IBS, and if different forms of IBS should be treated in different ways.
The other bit of good news we received in December was that the first patient in the type 1 diabetes project has started treatment. This study will also be the largest of its kind and will very likely lead to improved treatment for the disease. Far too many people die prematurely because of high blood sugar. The aim of the study is to investigate whether a lower proportion of carbohydrates in the diet can stabilize blood sugar, so that fewer people will suffer from all the serious complications of the disease.
When we founded the Dietary Science Foundation just over four years ago, our goal was to initiate high-quality studies that can establish new dietary treatments in healthcare. We celebrated New Year’s Eve in the knowledge that we’ve kept our promise so far. What’s more, we’re making a New Year’s resolution: we will continue to reach for the stars. As 2019 begins, we have another 150,000 euros to give to vital research projects that can contribute to better healthcare worldwide.
So once again: thank you to everyone who supports and believes in us. Together we will continue to make a difference!