I watched a Fox News clip responding to a recent 60 minutes Report on the Health Dangers of Sugar. While I did not see the original 60 minutes report, I was interested in the discussion with the Fox News staff person and two physicians. Both physicians agreed, in principle, that sugar is very unhealthy for individuals and causes a vast array of negative health impacts including obesity, insulin regulation issues and diabetes, increased risk of cancer, and other ailments. However, they both fell short of advocating a complete removal of sugar from one’s diet and encouraged people to be moderate in their consumption.
However, it made me wonder how “moderate” would be defined? How much is OK? I err on the side of avoiding sugar altogether because I know it affects my physical health, energy levels, weight, and more. One of the statistics reported in the discussion is that the average American consumes a third of a pound of sugar each day. Based on this reality, how does one know what “moderate” looks like?
I would also disagree with the statement released by the Sugar Association, “To vilify any single food or ingredient as the main culprit behind numerous serious illnesses provides little benefit to American consumers.” I think that thorough education of American consumers about the health risks of eating too much sugar and how to identify and avoid it in one’s diet is exactly what people need to be healthy.
It is apparent from this set of statistics from the Center for Disease Control (also quoted on the Fox News clip) that Americans, in general, are unaware of how much sugar is in their foods and unaware of the health implications of eating that much sugar.
- About one in every 6 calories consumed by kids comes from some kind of added sugar
- Boys consume an average of 361 calories worth of added sugar each day
- Girls consume an average of 282 calories worth of added sugar each day
You may not choose to completely eliminate sugar from your diet, but I strongly encourage you to review the foods you’re eating with a critical eye and become aware of the health implications of eating large amounts of sugar on a regular basis.