Research Priorities for Studies Linking Intake of Low Calorie Sweeteners and Potentially Related Health Outcomes

For which topic were research priorities identified?

low calorie sweeteners

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - USA

Why was it conducted at all?

In a world of finite research funding, efforts to prioritize future research topics are increasingly necessary.

What was the objective?

to identify and prioritize the direction of future research in the broad area of low calorie sweeteners intake and potentially related health outcomes

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 18 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

December 2014 - June 2015

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

interview; survey; meeting; webinar

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: recruiting stakeholders. Step 2: literature review: to create an evidence map. Step 3: webinars with stakeholders: to refine research needs. Step 4: meeting: research team presented a draft of the Evidence Mapping Summary Analysis report, stakeholders discussed report and revised list of questions, 39 preliminary research questions formulated, narrowed down to 26 questions by merging similar ideas. Step 5: semi-structured interviews: with stakeholders to share their thoughts on list of questions, final list of questions was then drafted. Step 6: survey: stakeholders asked to rate each of the 18 question priority

Which stakeholders took part?

16 participants: 2 lay people, 3 policymakers, 3 health providers, 1 research funder, 2 product makers, 5 researchers

How were stakeholders recruited?

The research team collaborated with the project sponsor, the Technical Committee on Low Calorie Sweeteners at the ILSI North American branch, to identify potential stakeholder panel members. The 7 Ps of Stakeholder Engagement approach was used to establish and organize the panel. Potential project stakeholders were sorted into the following categories: lay audience, policy makers, health providers (physicians, dietitians), research funders, researchers (with expertise in epidemiology, intervention studies, statistics, and taste), and individuals with food industry product-development experience. The goal was to recruit individuals in each of these categories. Stakeholders were first approached via email and asked to submit their CV followed by a vetting process.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.