Too much sweetness: ‘All sugars aren’t the same’ – Globe and Mail, May 2, 2014

A May 2, 2014 Globe and Mail article is entitled: “Too much sweetness: ‘All sugars aren’t the same.'”

Below is an excerpt from the article, which I’ve posted as an update related to previous blog posts about sugar:

  • But it turns out that most Canadians don’t actually know what “sugar” refers to – or that a large proportion of the sweetener that is added to the food supply is, in fact, a substance that many experts believe is even more toxic: high fructose corn syrup.
  • HFCS is the primary ingredient in soft drinks and can be found in everything from granola bars, canned pasta and chocolate milk to barbecue sauce and frozen desserts. Because of widespread campaigns based in the U.S., many Canadians are aware that there are concerns over its safety. But in Canada, it has a different name: “glucose-fructose” or “sugar/glucose-fructose,” which causes many label readers to mistake it for regular sugar. A 2011 industry survey found that only a quarter of respondents knew the difference.
  • The distinction goes far beyond semantics. Many health experts in the field say that sugar is bad, but HFCS is much worse. It appears to wreak havoc on the body, causing fat to be stored in the liver, where it can cause scarring and permanent damage. It can lead to excessive abdominal weight gain, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Studies show it causes high levels of triglycerides to be released into the blood, another cardiovascular risk factor.
  • Health experts say the federal government should change labelling rules to make the inclusion of HFCS transparent, arguing that, if more Canadians knew how ubiquitous the sweetener is, as well as the consequences increasingly linked to it, they would think twice about what they eat and drink.
  • “All sugars aren’t the same,” says Dr. Anil Nigam, director of the research program in preventive cardiology at the Montreal Heart Institute. “Bottom line: people are eating too much sugar and the sugar they’re eating is probably the worst kind.”

Updates

A Dec. 3, 2014 Los Angeles Times article is entitled: “To prevent or reverse obesity and its ills, timing may be everything.”

A Feb. 7, 2015 CBC article is entitled: “Why toddler foods have so much sugar and salt: ‘The child’s biology really makes them vulnerable’ to food industry.”

A March 4, 2015 CBC article is entitled: “‘Leanwashing’ marketing tactic used to drive junk-food sales: Advertisers emphasize exercise rather than cutting back on their high-calorie products.”

A March 4, 2015 CBC article is entitled: “Sugar intake should be reduced to 5-10% of calories, WHO says: Guidelines aim to reduce risk of obesity and tooth decay for all ages.”

A Jan. 17, 2016 Guardian article is entitled: “Sweet nightmares: a guide to cutting down on sugar: Sugar is making us fatter and sicker. Yet we still don’t realise how much we’re eating. As the government considers imposing a tax, we look at how to cut down without missing out. Plus: alternative recipes.”

A March 5, 2016 CBC article is entitled; A Canada’s Food Guide should seek inspiration from Brazil: researcher: New Senate obesity report suggests introducing a sugar tax in Canada.”

A Sept. 13, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Sugar industry paid scientists for favourable research, documents reveal: Harvard study in 1960s cast doubt on sugar’s role in heart disease, pointing finger at fat.”

A Sept. 16, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “It’s time to eliminate treats in schools: health experts: Downplay food, give children a chance to be more active with extra recess time, games.”

An Oct. 7, 2016 Guardian article is entitled: “Junk food shortening lives of children worldwide, data shows: Obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure at unprecedented levels due to spread of fast food and sugary drinks”

An Oct. 10, 2016 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Doctors’ Notes: Watch out for “free” sugar in foods; Knowing how much sugar you’re eating is complicated — more complicated than it should be.”

A Dec. 16, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Sugar’s on the food label, but you’ll have to guess how much has been ‘added’: Lobbying by food industry means Canada food labels won’t list ‘added sugar'”.

A January/February 2017 Atlantic article is entitled: “The Sugar Wars: Science can’t prove it and the industry denies it, but Gary Taubes is convinced that the sweet stuff kills.”

A Jan. 16, 2017) CBC The Current podcast, entitled “Is sugar killing us? Author Gary Taubes makes his case,” provides a great overview of the distinction between evidence (that is, the facts of the matter, in this case related to the science related to nutrition) and the frame within which scientific facts are positioned.

An April 25, 2017 Science Daily article is entitled: “Parents’ use of emotional feeding increases emotional eating in school-age children.”

A summary of the research report from the Society for Research in Child Development, on which the article is based, reads:

“Emotional eating is not uncommon in children and adolescents, but why youth eat emotionally has been unclear. Now a new longitudinal study from Norway has found that school-age children whose parents fed them more to soothe their negative feelings were more likely to eat emotionally later on. The reverse was also found to be the case, with parents of children who were more easily soothed by food being more likely to feed them for emotional reasons.”

An April 25, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “Backlash after report claims saturated fats do not increase heart risk: Relying on low fat foods to avoid heart disease is misguided, say cardiologists, but critics say comments ignore evidence.”

An April 26, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Pass the butter: Cutting saturated fat does not reduce heart disease risk, cardiologists say: Focus should instead be on eating ‘real food,’ walking and reducing stress.”

A Jan. 26, 2017 Atlantic article is entitled: “The Startling Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer’s: A high-carb diet, and the attendant high blood sugar, are associated with cognitive decline.

 

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