Added Sugars Cause Of Numerous Health Problems

for full article  Added Sugars Cause Of Numerous Health Problems

A new report in the BMJ has highlighted the dangers that added sugars have on people’s health. Cardiologist, Dr Aseem Malhotra said that current dietary advice on consuming added sugars isn’t enough, adding that “not only has this advice been manipulated by the food industry for profit, but it is actually a risk factor for obesity and diet related disease.”

Dr Malhotra urges the UK’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and the Department of Health to respond to theobesity epidemic, which is rapidly driving up type 2 diabetes incidence. He believes that consuming added sugars is one of the main contributors to this serious public health problem.

According to a study published in Diabetologiajust drinking one can of regular soda a day can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by 22%. 

In addition, US researchers found that people who consume a lot of added sugar, such as in sugary beverages, are more likely to have a range of heart disease risk factors. 

In line with the UK government’s Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA) recommendations, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that added sugars should never constitute more than 10 percent of a person’s total energy intake.

These recommendations and nutritional advice have influenced food labeling in the UK, yet Dr Malhotra says that it “is in desperate need of emergency surgery.”

The American Heart Association (AHA) revealed that a high level of added sugar consumption is associated with metabolic abnormalities and adverse health conditions. The AHA added that women should consume no more than 100 calories a day from added sugars (150 calories for men).

According to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans are consuming far too many calories from added sugars, with approximately 13% of adults’ total caloric intake coming from sources such as sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Sugar’s link to obesity and diabetes clear, but industry’s denial stance continues

Dr Malhotra says that despite several studies which have linked sugar consumption to an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, the food industry “continues to adopt strategies to deny sugar’s role as a major causative factor in what now represents the greatest threat to our health worldwide: diet-related disease.”

He said that the food industry has become too heavily involved with sport, which is “allowing the major food corporations to peddle pathology with impunity.” In particular, he pointed to the2012 London Olympics – which was mainly dominated by sugary drinks or junk food advertisements.

Food labels in the U.S. do not contain information about whether sugars are intrinsically present or added. Malhotra commented that “it is therefore almost impossible for consumers to determine the amount of added sugars in foods and beverages.”

Terence Stephenson, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said:

“The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges 2013 report on obesity ‘Measuring Up’ draws attention to the urgent need to combat sugary drinks in our schools and for all schools and hospitals to have food standards.

Following heart surgery in 2004, Bill Clinton formed the Alliance for a Healthier Generation with the American Heart Association. US children were getting many of their daily calories just from the drinks they consumed at schools. Clinton claims there has been an 88 percent reduction in the total calories in drinks shipped to state schools since.”

Other experts who back these claims, include Professor Simon Capewell, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Liverpool, stating that the scientific evidence is already clear and added sugars pose a serious threat to our families’ current and future health. He said that just as how tobacco has been successfully controlled “surely our kids deserve a similar level of protection from refined sugars.”

A possible way to tackle the problem would be through taxation of products high in fat, sugar and salt, which would probably reduce consumption and prove to be an important cost-saving intervention.

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