The Great Sugar Debate Part 2

If you have been watching the news I am sure you have heard about the new sugar guidelines set out by the World Health Organization (WHO).  Back in 2004 the WHO proposed calories from added sugar make up 10% of the overall calories we consume on a daily basis.  However, it never was approved as the sugar industry in the US threatened to pull funding from the agency.  Oh how money dictates our food supply!

Now with more evidence that sugar has a negative impact on our health the WHO has launched the recommendation again and is even pushing for an ideal restriction of 5% of calories coming from sugar.  Based on the 2004 Canadian Consumer Health survey the average Canadian consumes about 21% of daily calories from added sugar.  So we have a long way to go to meet these guidelines!

Honestly I think this is so ridiculous on many levels.  While I agree we need to be eating less sugar, it is unreasonable to expect people will change so drastically so quickly.  As humans we love sugar and the more we have, the more we want.  We are carb junkies.  The food industry should never have been allowed to liberally add so much sugar to our current food supply in the first place, because now trying to take it away from people is going to be incredibly difficult.

Such a drastic change has the potential to simply be ignored by people or increase the risk of higher sugar consumption because sugar now becomes the forbidden fruit.

It is so frustrating as a health care professional to see the power the food industry has on what is put on our grocery shelves.  We have an incredible amount of sound scientific evidence in this day and age supporting how excessive intake of sugar can lead to health problems-but it is nothing new, we have known this for a very long time. Instead of using this evidence to base our guidelines on, organizations get threatened by the food industry that their funding will be jeopardized if they go through with guidelines (as seen in 2004.)

So the problem doesn’t go away, the food industry makes billions of dollars all the while our sugar consumption increases.  And now the solution is to put into place a very strict guideline- gee because that has proven to be really effective on anything!  It just leaves me speechless!!!  To label sugar as evil is wrong because it is a much bigger issue than that and one that is going to take a long time to correct…

Read Part 1 here.