Cristin Kearns Couzens

Cristin Kearns Couzens first saw the devastating effects of sugar as dental director of low-income clinics in Denver. She moved into dental administration, and took a position managing operations at Kaiser Permanente Dental Care Program before leaving in 2009 to pursue independent research into the sugar industry's public-relations claims. Couzens is currently a senior consultant at the University of Colorado Center for Health Administration and an instructor at the University of Washington School of Dentistry.

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Cristin Kearns Couzens first saw the devastating effects of sugar as dental director of low-income clinics in Denver. She moved into dental administration, and took a position managing operations at Kaiser Permanente Dental Care Program before leaving in 2009 to pursue independent research into the sugar industry's public-relations claims. Two years earlier, she had attended a dental conference looking at potential links between gum disease and diabetes. One of the keynote speakers was a "lifestyle medicine" expert who had just published a fast-food nutrition guide that gave sugary drinks like Lipton Brisk (sweetened iced tea) the green light. When challenged privately by Couzens, who also holds an MBA in health administration from the University of Colorado, he responded that there is no evidence linking sugar to chronic disease. Couzens recalls being a bit stunned. "This seemed so much like sugar industry rhetoric that it drove me to learn more about how the sugar industry may have impacted the dental and medical professions," she later wrote. Currently, Couzens is a senior consultant at the University of Colorado Center for Health Administration and an instructor at the University of Washington School of Dentistry.