Tag Archives: obesity

Sugar is as dangerous as alcohol and tobacco, warn health experts

Britain’s obesity crisis could be reversed within five years if food companies reduced sugar in products by 30 per cent, health experts claim as they launch a new campaign to cut intake.

Sugar has become as dangerous as alcohol or tobacco, academics have said as they call on the food industry to cut 30 per cent from processed in Britons’ cupboards. Health experts claim the reduction could shave 100 calories from each person’s daily intake and reverse the UK’s growing obesity epidemic. Later a group of health experts and academics come together to launch ‘Action on Sugar’, a campaign which is calling on the food producers to dramatically reduce levels of sugar in everyday products.

They are also asking companies to stop advertising sugary drinks and snacks to   children claiming sugar has become ‘the alcohol of childhood.’ And they are calling on the government to fine those who do not meet reduction targets or impose a Sugar Tax. Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Liverpool, UK, Simon   Capewell says, “ Sugar is the new tobacco”. “Everywhere, sugary drinks and junk foods are now pressed on unsuspecting   parents and children by a cynical industry focussed on profit not health.

“The obesity epidemic is already generating a huge burden of disease and death.” One in four adults in England is obese and these figures are set to climb to   60 per cent of men, 50 per cent of women, and 25 per cent of children by   2050. Three in every 10 children aged between two and 15 are overweight or obese. Obesity and diabetes already costs the UK over £5billion every year which is   likely to rise to £50 billion in the next 36 years. Although sugary drinks are known to be a problem scientists say many people   are unaware that flavoured waters, soups, ketchup and ready meals also   contain large amounts of hidden sugars. A can of Heinz tomato soup contains the equivalent of four teaspoons of sugar   while a mug of Cadbury’s drinking chocolate holds six teaspoonfuls. A Yeo Valley vanilla yoghurt contains five teaspoons of sugar. Last year a study by Oxford University suggested that a 12p tax on fizzy drinks would cut consumption by 15 per cent and mean 180,000 fewer obese   adults. The experts have calculated that reducing sugar in processed foods by between 20 and 30 per cent over the next three to five years they could remove 100   calories a day from diets, enough to halt or reverse the obesity epidemic. They highlight children as a particularly vulnerable group because of the   heavy marketing of sweets and sugary drinks towards youngsters.

Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, Canada, Yoni   Freedhoff; “Not only has added sugar found its way into virtually everything   we eat, but worse still, the use of sugar as a means to pacify, entertain   and reward children has become normalized to the point that questioning our   current sugary status quo often inspires anger and outrage.

“We need to re-relegate sugar to the role of occasional treat rather than its   current role of everyday, anytime, crutch”. Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology at the University Of California, San   Francisco Robert Lustig added: “Children are the primary targets of   marketing campaigns, and the least able to resist the messaging. “That makes sugary drinks like the “alcohol of childhood”,   which makes them obese.”

Many companies have already signed up to the government’s Responsibility Deal   to cut sugar by 10 per cent from their products but academics say it does   not go far enough. “We must now tackle the obesity epidemic both in the UK and worldwide,” said   Professor Graham MacGregor, “The present government and Department of Health Responsibility Deal has been   shown to have had no effect on calorie intake and we must start a coherent   and structured plan to slowly reduce the amount of calories people consume   by slowly taking out added sugar from foods and soft drinks.”

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10559671/Sugar-is-as-dangerous-as-alcohol-and-tobacco-warn-health-experts.html


WHO cuts sugar intake recommendation in half!


Published March 05, 2014 /Associated Press

Just try sugar-coating this: The World Health Organization says your daily sugar intake should be just 5 percent of your total calories – half of what the agency previously recommended, according to new draft guidelines published Wednesday.

After a review of about 9,000 studies, WHO’s expert panel says dropping sugar intake to that level will combat obesity and cavities. That includes sugars added to foods and those present in honey, syrups and fruit juices, but not those occurring naturally in fruits.

Americans and others in the West eat a lot more sugar than that: Their average sugar intake would have to drop by two-thirds to meet WHO’s suggested limit.

WHO’s new guidelines have been published online and the agency is inviting the public to comment via its website until the end of March.

Many doctors applauded the U.N. agency’s attempt to limit the global sweet tooth.

“The less sugar you’re eating, the better,” said Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California and author of a book about the dangers of sugar. “If the sugar threshold is lowered, I think breakfast cereal is going to have a really hard time justifying its existence,” he said, referring to sweetened cereals often targeted to children.

When WHO last revised its sugar guidelines more than a decade ago, it recommended sugar should be less than 10 percent of daily calories. The U.S. sugar industry was so incensed it lobbied Congress to threaten to withdraw millions of dollars in funding to WHO. A contentious reference to the sugar limit was removed from a global diet strategy but the recommendation passed.

Lustig said WHO’s new guidelines could alter the food environment by forcing manufacturers to rethink how they’re using sugar in processed foods like bread, soups, pasta sauces and even salad dressings. He called the amount of sugar in processed food an “absolute, unmitigated disaster.”

WHO’s expert group found high sugar consumption is strongly linked to obesity and tooth decay. It noted that heavy people have a higher risk of chronic diseases, responsible for more than 60 percent of global deaths. Dental care costs up to 10 percent of health budgets in Western countries and cause significant problems in the developing world.

WHO warned many of the sugars eaten today are hidden in processed foods, pointing out that one tablespoon of ketchup contains about one teaspoon of sugar.

There is no universally agreed consensus on how much sugar is too much.

The American Heart Association advises limiting sugar to about 8 percent of your diet, or six teaspoons a day for women and nine for men. A study led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published last month found too much sugar can raise the chances of fatal heart problems. Researchers found the average American gets about 15 percent of their calories from sugar, similar to other Western nations.

New nutrition labels proposed in the U.S. will also require food manufacturers to list any added sugars, plus a more prominent calorie count.

Earlier this week, Britain’s chief medical officer, Dr. Sally Davies, said she thought sugar might be addictive and that the government should consider introducing a sugar tax to curb bulging waistlines; the U.K. has one of the fattest populations in Western Europe.

“We have a generation of children who, because they’re overweight … may not live as long as my generation,” she told a health committee. “They will be the first generation that lives less and that is of great concern.”

From: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/03/05/who-cuts-sugar-intake-advice-to-5-percent-daily-energy/

Revealing documentary about the role of the food industry on today’s health

Around the world, obesity levels are rising. More people are now overweight than undernourished. Two thirds of British adults are overweight and one in four of us is classified as obese. In the first of this three-part series, Jacques Peretti traces those responsible for revolutionising our eating habits, to find out how decisions made in America 40 years ago influence the way we eat now.

Travelling to the USA, he learns about a sweetener championed in the 1970s to make use of the excess corn grown by farmers but now known to interfere with the hormone that controls appetite. In The Men Who Made Us Fat – Episode 2 Peretti reveals the history of ‘supersizing‘, a concept that boosted both food consumption and profits, and speaks with industry professionals about the introduction of value meals, king-size snacks and multi-buy promotions.

Examining assumptions about what is and is not healthy, Peretti also explores developments in dietary advice and the power of marketing and advertising on the choices we make.

Episode 3 : A look at how marketing can seduce consumers into buying supposed ‘healthy foods’.

Link 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6nGlLUBkOQ (episode 1)

link 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owekbSp7wU0 (episode 2)

Link 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlQHXkOUjeI (episode 3)