Personal Training Bellevue | Big Sugar and Your Health

For five decades the sugar industry has skewed the truth and paid nutritionists and scientists to lie to us about the affects on our health. Now that everything is coming to light the soda and sugar industry are under attack (justifiably so!) from all sides. In a movement akin to the battle against Big Tobacco, sugary beverage taxes and lawsuits are springing up all over the country, and even internationally! The fact is, sugar consumption has been unquestionably linked to obesity, inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimers, and cancer.

How did we get here, you might very well ask. In 1951 the American Sugar Refining Co began an ambitious campaign stressing sugar as an important energy source for children. During that same time, the renamed Sugar Association awarded some $3 million in grants to researchers in nutrition, chemistry and metabolism at Cal Tech, Princeton and Yale. Internal sugar industry docs discovered last fall found that in the 60’s the industry paid Harvard scientists the equivalent of $50,000 today to publish a review of fat, sugar and heart disease. These studies basically downplayed the role of sugar in heart disease, instead pointing the blame at fat, as the culprit.

According to the New York Times, current findings suggest that “five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.”

In fact, in the 1960’s, when diet conscious Americans switched from sugary drinks to diet sodas, and low-cal sweeteners threatened the sugar industry, Big Sugar spent $4 million to scare the public away from artificial sweeteners (cyclamate/saccharin). They also lobbied to have it removed from the market declaring it carcinogenic!

And it continues today: In 2015 Coca-Cola provided millions of $$ to researchers to downplay the link between sugary drinks and obesity. Bear in mind that Coca-Cola is THE world’s largest producer of sugary drinks! Just last year candy manufacturers were actually funding studies asserting that children who ate candy weighed less than those that don’t ~ quite a leap in logic, one might think.

Here we are in 2017, where the Paleo diet (which does not restrict fat at all but eliminates sugar) is one of the most popular and healthful eating plans. Sugar has been exposed for the liar and the health demon it is. Fat is no longer the bad guy! As a result, the USDA’s new dietary guideline sets no limit on fat. In fact, the American Heart Assoc, has declared sugar to be a major risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Further, the AHA advises adults to keep their sugar intake below 10% of all calories, and that children under age 2 should have NO added sugar in their diet.

Because sugar is metabolized by the liver the same way as alcohol, large amounts can, over time, lead to nonalcohol related fatty liver disease’. Fatty liver disease leads to diabetes, which in turn leads to heart disease.

According to Dr. Hu, a research scientist, here are the results of high sugar intake: high blood pressure, inflammation, fatty liver disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke.

On a bright note, in 2016 the World Health Organization called for nations around the globe to tax sweet foods to reduce sugar consumption. The CDC says soda taxes are the ‘single most effective remedy to reverse the obesity epidemic.”

Mexico has had this tax in place since 2014, and it appears to be working! Oakland, Albany, and Boulder joined the ranks last fall, and Seattle is following suit, as are four other cities. And finally, a team of California attorneys have filed lawsuits against General Mills, Kellogg, Post Foods for claiming their products (which contain about 40% sugar!) are healthy and nutritious.

It appears that Big Sugar is finally getting its’ ‘just dessert’!

*Condensed from July 2017 PCC Newsletter

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