Academics from the UK have urged manufacturers to cut the sugar content of food by an average of 30%, having dubbed excessive sugar intake as big a danger as tobacco or alcohol. According to health experts, a reduction in sugar consumption amounting to 100 calories per day could potentially have an enormous impact on the obesity crisis plaguing the West.
Along with calling for comprehensive reductions in the amount of sugar added to foodstuffs and everyday ingredients, campaigners are also insisting that adverts and promotional material aimed at children should not glorify high sugar intake. Suggesting that government seriously consider a new tax on sugar or penalties for companies ignoring safe intake guidelines, health experts have labeled sugar the ‘alcohol of childhood’.
“Sugar is the new tobacco,” warned Simon Capewell, a professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Liverpool.
“Everywhere, sugary drinks and junk foods are now pressed on unsuspecting parents and children by a cynical industry focused on profit not health,”
“The obesity epidemic is already generating a huge burden of disease and death.”
Obesity levels across the West are already out of control and rising dramatically, experts warn. And while education and awareness with regard to sugary sodas and unhealthy junk food has never been more widespread, most are still entirely unaware as to how much sugar goes into store cupboard staples them may have assumed were healthier than they actually are.
From canned soup to ketchup to breakfast cereals to yogurts and right through to flavored mineral waters, the amount of sugar that’s used in the production process is truly astonishing.
“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,” added Yoni Freedhoff, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.
“We need to re-relegate sugar to the role of occasional treat rather than its current role of everyday, anytime, crutch”.