Global Trouble

By Dean L. Jones

Increasingly, public health advocates denounce the consumption of processed sugar, often making the comparison to smoking cigarettes in terms of the danger it poses to health.  In general, added sugar is trouble to our heart, weight, and insulin health.  The following is a reminder of the significant sugar issues globally discussed in 2015.

The Scientific American Magazine reported on how processed sugar and fat trick the brain into wanting more food.  Junk foods can muddle the brain’s satiety-control mechanism, thereby sending a person’s appetite into hyper-drive.

USA Today published recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies on how added sugar increases your risk of death from heart disease.  Consequently, processed sugar not only makes a person fatter, it may also be the cause of death from heart disease.

ABC News gave international data that for every additional 150 calories of added sugar downed per person per day, the prevalence of diabetes rose by 1%, and people who ate the most added sugar more than doubled their risk of death from heart disease.

The New York Times Magazine stated how sugar is a toxin or a poison and a likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments, including heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them.  It referenced a new movie called “That Sugar Film” dealing with the hazards of consuming too much added sugar, which can be found in an estimated 80% of all supermarket foods.

One of several Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) News articles addressed how sugar added to food is causing greater obesity, which was narrated by U.S. journalist Katie Couric.  It placed considerable blame on food manufacturers (ketchup, pasta sauce, salad dressing, breakfast cereals, juice and energy drinks, baked goods, yogurt and even baby formula) for fuelling a sugar dependency that is creating a global obesity epidemic.

Equally, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News featured scientific experts that want sugar intake to be cut in half to reduce obesity risk and improve dental health.  A committee of scientists has advised the British government to halve the current recommended daily intake of sugar, where no more than 5% of daily calories should come from added sugar, or about seven teaspoons.

Children are manifesting increased rates of adult diseases like hypertension or high triglycerides, not to mention type-2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.  A televised documentary showed how after just 10 days of eliminating sugar from the diet, obese children improved their blood pressure, cholesterol readings and other markers of health.  All of the children considerably reduced their risk of diabetes, as their blood sugar and insulin levels normalized.

As monitored, processed sugar is trouble for the world’s population.  In 2016, this weekly column will continue to comment on the dastardly effects derived from excessive sugar consumption.  And so, have a very SugarAlert New Year!
Dean is a marketing strategist with the Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages.