I got the following message on my answer to this question Can it be unhealthy to deprive a child of sugar?

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

I have no objection to doing that. I'd be delighted. However I'm not sure what aspect of my answer needs the references. Who sent me the message? How can I ask them?


I can think of one possibility:

I mention anecdotally and as a side issue that I personally lost weight as a result of giving up sugar. I make no claims that others would lose weight this way and in any case the question was not about losing weight. I suppose I could prove my own weight loss by posting printouts from a weighing machine (I have kept some somewhere) or I could simply delete that part of my answer. However that may not be the thing that is being complained about. I'd like to ask if that is the problem but I don't know who added the note. Is it a moderator? How do I contact them?

  • Only mods can add that note. By raising your question in meta, you'll the attention of whichever added the note (it wasn't me).
    – Acire
    Oct 12, 2015 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


Asking here on meta, as you've done, is probably the best approach. Additionally, you can add a comment to the answer itself requesting clarification on what information needs a reference. There is a comment on the question answers here will require references to back up medical claims, that might be a clue.

If I had to guess, the only line in your answer that night be considered a "medical claim" might be the line "if [a non sugar sweet] satisfies him then you know he is not addicted to sugar itself". On the other hand, it could simply be that you need to incorporate some sourced information into your answer in addition to your personal experience, since the question relates to a (potentially) medically-related issue.

But if you want a definitive answer, the ideal method would probably be to create a meta question (and I think, separate from this one, which is worth keeping around as a "how to"), asking "What's needed in [this post]?" Then you can add a comment on your post that links to the meta question.

  • 1
    I disagree that a comment on his answer is the best place to ask how to improve it — asking in meta has greater visibility, and (at least in theory) gets more users offering ideas to improve the question. Otherwise, I agree with your answer :)
    – Acire
    Oct 12, 2015 at 14:03
  • 1
    @Erica an excellent point! I've edited my answer accordingly. Oct 12, 2015 at 16:42

That post notice was from me. I should probably have added a further comment now I look at it - sorry:

You made 2 points that really need more info:

If it satisfies him then you know he is not addicted to sugar itself.

which doesn't appear to have any scientific grounding here.

And your suggestion that you should provide children with artificial sweeteners seems to fly in the face of accepted research which states that unrefined sugar is healthy, but there is more and more concern about sweeteners - especially for kids. If you have references suggesting that sweeteners are good for kids, please pop it in your post.

  • Okay - I'll remove the claim that 'you know he is not addicted to sugar' As you rightly suggest I can't back that up. I don't think artificial sweeteners are good for anyone! I used them myself as a temporary crutch whilst giving up sugar but I wouldn't recommend them as a long-term solution. I'll take another look at that too. Oct 13, 2015 at 18:59
  • Thanks - I'll give better comment next time :-)
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Oct 13, 2015 at 20:31

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