Placing a Cap on Americans’ Consumption of Added Sugar


Health experts have been nudging Americans to kick the sugar habit for years, and now it’s official: The Food and Drug Administration is recommending a daily cap on sugar for the first time.

The goal is for Americans to limit added sugar to no more than 10 percent of daily calories, according to the proposed guidelines. For someone older than 3, that means eating no more than 12.5 teaspoons, or 50 grams, of it a day. That’s about the same amount of sugar found in a can of Coke, but for most people, giving up sugary soft drinks will not be enough to meet the recommendations.

Caloric sweeteners like sugar, honey and high-fructose corn syrup are found in obvious places like sodas, cookies and candy — but they are also lurking in foods with health appeal, like low-fat yogurt, granola and wholegrain breads, as well as in ketchup, pasta sauce, canned fruit and prepared soups, salad dressings and marinades. (Click for the complete article)

Cutting Sugar Improves Children’s Health in Just 10 Days


Obese children who cut back on their sugar intake see improvements in their blood pressure, cholesterol readings and other markers of health after just 10 days, a rigorous new study found.

The new research may help shed light on a question scientists have long debated: Is sugar itself harming health, or is the weight gain that comes from consuming sugary drinks and foods mainly what contributes to illness over the long term?

In the new study, which was financed by the National Institutes of Health and published Tuesday in the journal Obesity, scientists designed a clinical experiment to attempt to answer this question. They removed foods with added sugar from a group of children’s diets and replaced them with other types of carbohydrates so that the subjects’ weight and overall calorie intake remained roughly the same. (Click for the complete article)

Daily sugar-sweetened beverage habit linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

BOSTON (June 5, 2015)

The researchers analyzed 2,634 self-reported dietary questionnaires from mostly Caucasian middle-aged men and women enrolled in the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Framingham Heart Study’s Offspring and Third Generation cohorts.

The sugar-sweetened beverages on the questionnaires included caffeinated- and caffeine-free colas, other carbonated beverages with sugar, fruit punches, lemonade or other non-carbonated fruit drinks.

The participants underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan to measure the amount of fat in the liver and the authors of the current study used a previously defined cut-point to identify NAFLD. They saw a higher prevalence of NAFLD among people who reported drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage per day compared to people who said they drank no sugar-sweetened beverages. (Click for the complete article)

Sugar and carbs, not physical inactivity, behind surge in obesity, say experts

22-Apr-2015, British Journal of Sports Medicine

Excess sugar and carbs, not physical inactivity, are behind the surge in obesity, say experts in an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine published online today. It's time to bust the myth that anyone--and that includes athletes--can outrun a bad diet, they say.

Regular exercise is key to staving off serious disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, and dementia, write the authors, but our calorie laden diets now generate more ill health than physical inactivity, alcohol, and smoking combined.

The evidence now suggests that up to 40% of those within a normal weight (BMI) range will none the less harbor harmful metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity. But few people realize this, and many wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise, a perception that is firmly rooted in corporate marketing, say the authors. (Click for the complete article)

Sugary drinks boost risk factors for heart disease, UC-Davis study shows

April 22, 2015

Beverages sweetened with low, medium and high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup significantly increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease, even when consumed for just two weeks by young, healthy men and women, reports a team of researchers at the University of California, Davis.

The study is the first to demonstrate a direct, dose-dependent relationship between the amount of added sugar consumed in sweetened beverages and increases in specific risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The data reinforce evidence from an earlier epidemiological study showing that the risk of death from cardiovascular disease — the leading cause of death in the United States and around the world — increases as the amount of added sugar consumed increases. The results are reported online and will be published in the June print edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (Click for the complete article)


From dementia to liver damage, the real toll of too much sugar

16 December 2013

Christmas truly is the season of sugar. The average British adult will consume the equivalent of 32 teaspoons of the stuff on Christmas Day alone, according to the British Heart Foundation. UK guidelines recommend that we should have no more than 50g - or around ten teaspoons - of sugar a day.  But surveys suggest the average British adult goes over this by two teaspoons - much of this coming from sugars added to our food by manufacturers.

And sugar does more than rot your teeth: in recent months many experts have argued that it's sugar, not fat, that's to blame for our obesity epidemic.

Yet sugar is not just full of calories. Some scientists are claiming that, calorific content aside, a sugary diet is harmful because it alters crucial processes and hormone levels in the body. So can we safely indulge our sweet tooth over the Christmas period? (Click for the complete article)

Scholarly articles and reports
Dangerous Drinks

Fruit juice: Just another sugary drink?

Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity

Dietary glycemic load, added sugars, and carbohydrates as risk factors for pancreatic cancer

Consumption of Added Sugar Among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 2005–2008

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in African American Women

Sugar-Sweetened Soft Drinks, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes

Taxing Caloric Sweetened Beverages