I decided to divert today, in light of the Nigel Latta programme that was on TV last night: ‘Is sugar the new fat?’. Sugar is something I have written about lots of times before. Here are a few of my previous blogs on sugar:
- beware of hidden sugars in food,
- sugar is a dangerous as alcohol or tobacco
- A diet experiment that could change your life
- seduced by the supermarket?
- Coca cola comes clean on obesity
Nothing that Nigel Latta said was a surprise to me, but I expect he shocked quite a few viewers, and he certainly was shocked himself. Here are some notes from the programme if you missed it.
Sugar is hidden in plain sight. It’s in Almost everything that we eat, and we don’t realise it. Sugar is cheap, so to rebalance the cost and keep prices down expensive ingredients are taken out or reduced, and sugar is put in to replace them. Therefore the cheaper the product, the more sugar is in it, most likely.
Who tests the recipes before the go on the shelves?
Marketers test it, they are supposed to know what the consumer wants. Interesting, because my husband said when he worked for a breakfast cereal producer in England, they would get members of the public in, and give them various different recipes, not tell hem which was which, and ask them to fill in tick sheet.
Over past 30 years sugar increased in food, and we bought more. They (the manufacturers) won’t stop until someone makes them. Who will make them? Said a doctor that was interviewed.
Latta eats muesli breakfast. He considers this to be healthy, but I already know it isn’t, it is hugely high in sugar, have a Loki the next time you’re in the supermarket. It is also listed as glucose and aspartame (man made sugar and even more dangerous).
He adopts the calories in, calories out approach, meaning that if he eats ‘badly’ he the a going to do some exercise will make it all ok.
The average kiwi consumes a massive 50kg sugar a year, that’s 136g of sugar per day.
The costs of sugar
Refined carb, or ‘high GI’ foods are foods that are quickly converted to blood sugar. They tend to be cheaper and taste good. For example, white bread, cakes no biscuits. The disadvantage is they convert to fat faster, and leaveyou feeling hungry sooner. For example, KFC Burger King McDonald’s, all high GI, but convenient and cheap. Keep this type of high GI diet up, and you will develop diabetes. It has been proven that sugar and carbohydrate have a connection with diabetes.
How do we correct it?
Reduce sugar intake, reduce sugary beverages, this is the most important ing to do. He talks to some patients in hospital with diabetes. They believe sugar is very addictive and damaging.
I would eat a dozen apple donuts, lollies, feels like an addiction. I HAD to have it
Latta went for a blood test to find out how healthy he was. If his results the triglycerides were high. This is in effect, the blood fat, as a result of excess sugar in the diet. This increases the risk of clotting and heart attacks. The level recommended is 1.7mm/l, his was 2.4. He looks lean but that doesn’t mean he isn’t at risk. The incredible thing is that he thought he was eating well.
The low fat idea started in the 70s, connected to diet and weight loss. When they take fat out, they had to do something, so sugar went in. Low fat didn’t make us thinner. We have got fatter as the sugar has increased.
Soft drinks and dental health
34k children under 14 had teeth extractions last year. It is increasing year on year. It is totally preventable. Sugary drinks no1 source of sugar in kids diet in New Zealand. A Kid age 2 that they featured had 6 teeth removed. The teeth dissolved to gum line in only 6 months. There is a whole theatre of staff, this is costly and utterly preventable.
Soft drinks have 40 – 50 tsp sugar per bottle. Coke – 600ml 16 tsp sugar. 5 days of sugar in one bottle. (I stopped drinking coke and fizzy drinks when I discovered this a few year go when doing my nutrition qualification.)
Credit Suisse has linked sugar to diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. They surveyed GP’s. 90% believed this was the case.
What do the food council have to say?
He talked to the food council about this. Here is what they said.
It is exaggerated and hysterical. Sugar tax? Nowhere has this worked. The food council thinks its a combinati of events and not just sugar’s fault. Sugary drinks are cheaper than water say the doctors. The New Zealand Medical Journal say it would save lives. People making better choices, how hard is that due to skilful marketing? The food council representative said they can’t force you to buy it. Latta stated that from a psychology point of view they are very good at influencing behaviour. She said they just give information.
RUBBISH, is what I have to say!
Are we habituated to sugar? The food industry don’t care what they sell you. It has to be government level intervention.
Yendarra school – Auckland have banned sugary drinks and take always. Children have been the educators and it has made a real difference both at school and at home.
Every day 50 more people become diabetic.
This is tipping us into a health crisis. We don’t give our two year olds tobacco or alcohol but we give them sugary drinks?
How much proof do you need?
Sugar is implicated in all sorts of diseases. Sure there’s other contributors. We can’t force them to exercise but we can do something about the food.