We now have a national campaign opposing the very thing that I have been fighting against since the start of my career;
There has been a wealth of articles in the press warning of the negative effect sugar has on our health, as well as the large amount of sugar that we consume in our diet and every day foods. An article from the Guardian suggests that some time before the 20th Century people were likely to have no more than around a teaspoon of sugar per head, per year. Now however, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey indicates that the consumption per year for UK boys is around 40kg/year – and that could be an underestimate.
Two main factors that have contributed to our high sugar consumption are:
1.) The fact that sugar is incredibly cheap
2.) That humans are born with a preference for sweet foods
The first means that the food industry can make large profits on foods which contain a high sugar content. It also means that sugar can be added to a wide number of products very easily and cheaply. The second means that sugar can be added to make our foods more palatable and to make us enjoy them more. The more we enjoy our foods, the more we are likely to eat.
Therefore excess sugar in food could actually make us consume more food overall as well as just excess sugar.
How many of us have to fight with ourselves to avoid the temptation of a chocolate biscuit or piece of cake?
Just another food evil?
The ‘Action on Sugar’ campaign has received a fair amount of backlash from many health care professionals who claim that sugar is simply ‘the new victim’ for blame of the obesity crisis. To some extent this could be true and as we know obesity is not due to one single factor, but to a complex web of factors. However, it is undeniable that sugar is present and consumed in so many of our everyday foods from burger buns in the fast food restaurants, to breakfast cereals for children and to ‘diet’ ‘low fat’ and ‘lighter’ products which are marketed to us as the healthy option.
Sugar may not be the ONLY cause of our obesity epidemic, but a large reduction in the amount added to our foods is likely to help reduce the rising obesity we are seeing throughout the UK. Less sugar consumption overall will also have a positive impact on other aspects of our health.
For more details and information on sugar, its effect on our health and specific campaigns please see some of our previous blogs:
And so many more in our blogs section, here: