It’s been all over the papers today: Sugar is the new tobacco! A group of health experts and academics are set to launch ‘Action on Sugar’ – a campaign that is trying to force the food industry to drastically reduce sugar levels in our everyday products.
While the diction rings slightly polemic (“sugary drinks (are) like the alcohol of childhood”), I wholeheartedly welcome the movement. Finally, someone is pushing hard to open our eyes and help our children and us to get out of the sugar trap. It’s no secret that sugar is addictive, and that sugar is one of the determining factors that keep the Western world in an obesity crisis. Yet companies are allowed to market their sugar loaded products as if they were part of a healthy diet, often aimed at children.
I am by no means completely against sugar. The occasional treat, a nice dessert or a slice of cake does not pave the route down to obesity. However, sugar in about everything we consume is dangerous, especially if these products are portrayed in a healthy way via marketing.
There is absolutely no excuse for the amount of sugar you find in some standard British cupboard items – other than counting on its addictive effects, thus increasing consumption, which leads to increased profits.
– A can of Heinz tomato soup contains four teaspoons of sugar
– More than a third of every bowl full of Kellogg’s Frosties is pure sugar
– Almost a quarter of Kellogg’s Special K Honey Clusters is sugar
– Nutella is made of 55% sugar
– Your average slice of white bread contains about 1/3 teaspoon of sugar
I sincerely hope Action on Sugar is going to be successful. This is so much better than the suggested ‘fat taxes’ that are only going to make life worse for people who already have enough problems to face. Taxing alcohol and cigarettes has never stopped anyone to get on the stuff and ruin their health. Getting to the root of the problem will hopefully make a difference.
What’s your take on added sugar in everyday products?