Sugar. We know it’s not good for us. We’ve always known that which is why no person in their right mind thinks it is a good idea to wake up and eat a bag of wine gums for breakfast – Christmas Day excluded.
But now the campaign against sugar has ramped up a gear, with a group of specialists making mainstream news with reports that as a nation we are addicted to the sweet substance.
The organisation, called Action on Sugar, is working to reduce the amount of sugar added to food and soft drinks as part of an effort to reverse the UK’s obesity and diabetes crisis.
Forget the obvious foods like sweets, chocolate and pastries, this time the crusade is against yoghurt, cereal and sauces. Sugar is in almost everything and experts say that manufacturers need to gradually reduce the amount of added sugar in their products.
It’s hard to argue with them, especially when more than half of adults and more than a quarter of children in England are overweight. The obesity epidemic is costing the UK £5bn a year and then of course there are problems like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Added sugar has absolutely no nutritional content and according to endocrinologist Robert Lustig of the University of California it is: “A poison by itself when consumed in high doses.”
So where do we go from here? Well while Action on Sugar work with manufacturers at a top level we need to take it upon ourselves to be educated, check labels when shopping and avoiding products with high levels of added sugar.
At the end of the day, it’s the age old saying…..everything in moderation. Cut out the sweet stuff altogether and you may find yourself devouring 10 packs of Maynards at the end of the month. Cold turkey may work well for some but I’ll be treating sugar as exactly that, a treat, to be enjoyed every now and then and not every day – although Christmas doesn’t count.