In proposing solutions for the “sugar controversy”, the authors of the case study highlight the method in which Brazil was able to adjust to the implementation of the sugar recommendation set by the WHO. In Brazil, there was a shift from using sugar cane as an additive in foods to using sugar cane as an alternative energy source known as ethanol. The success of this shift in sugar cane treatment in Brazil was due to the cooperation of the government by providing grants and incentives for ethanol-processing technologies.
The support of the government allowed for a new competitive industry to form in Brazil.
While this policy option was deemed successful in abiding by the WHO recommendation of sugar intake as well as maintaining a successful sugar industry, it is important to consider theoretical perspectives that reveal why the sugar controversy remains active. The conflict perspective theory can be used to understand that the driving force between the WHO and the sugar industry is in that the sugar industry is competing for power and resources through monetary value.
If there was an opportunity to shift the financial gain for the sugar industry from one of human consumption to alternative energy, then there would no longer be a controversy (Allen, 2012).
To further support the WHO recommendations of limiting sugar intake in an effort to reduce NCDs, a clinical trial needs to be performed. This clinical trial should be at least four weeks long where healthy subjects consume energy-based diets with varying amounts of added sugar.
There will be groups consuming foods with added sugar ranging from 5% to 25% (Stanhope, 2015). All other aspects of the subjects diet such as fats, fiber, and macronutrients will remain the same across all subjects. Subjects will receive regular doctor check ups and their health status will be observed. The results from this clinical trial testing will provide more evidence to back up the recommendations set forth by the WHO. Successful clinical trials and research supporting the WHO will push the sugar industry to seek other forms of financial gain. The conflict perspective theory supports the idea that the sugar industry will turn from the WHO to find a new industry to compete in for power and resources. This is where the sugar industry would have the opportunity to turn to a national biofuels strategy. This strategy will depend on research in non medical microbiology, plant biology, and chemical engineering (Somerville, 2006).