It’s been a long time coming but it seems that medical and government authorities are finally coming around to the idea that it is sugar and not fat that we need to eat less off if we are going to be fit, healthy and slim. For years, fat has been “the whipping boy” of nutrition and blamed for almost every disease around but, more recently, evidence has pointed a finger at sugar – something we at Days to Fitness have been saying all along! We’ve created a 20 No-Sugar Days Challenge to help you to get rid of sugar for good. You can find it here.
According to a story on Fox News, a group of doctors in the U.S. have gone so far as to called for a BAN on sugar and other unhealthy foods in hospitals, stating that while they do their best to treat their patients, the food sold and served in the hospitals cancels out much of their good work. If you think about it, giving sugar to sick people is like giving cigarettes to lung cancer sufferers; it’s crazy! So, we say “good work” to those doctors.
And it’s not just American doctors who are speaking out against the dangers of sugar, according to this story in The Guardian newspaper, their British counterparts are calling for a similar ban too.
Maybe it’s just me, but it makes perfect sense for the food that is available in hospitals to be as healthy as possible. After all, as Hippocrates said, let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.
If junk food, the cause of so many diseases, is freely available, doesn’t that mean that the very institution that is meant to be making people healthy is just enabling people’s sugar and junk food addiction? This, in turn, costs the healthcare system more money when it’s already overstretched.
The Guardian reports that British politicians are considering adding an extra tax to the price of soda and other sugar-laden junk food. The proposition is that any soda containing more than 5 grams of sugar per 100 ml will be liable to extra taxation, and those beverages that contain more than 8 grams per 100 ml will be liable for an even higher rate of tax.
This money would, the politicians say, be used to treat the ever-growing obesity problem in the UK, and may even encourage people to buy sugar-free soda instead. Yes, I know, artificial sweeteners are only a little better than sugary sodas, but it’s a step in the right direction.
In a similar story, The Daily Mail, another UK newspaper, reported that healthy food activist Aaron Schultz, from Tasmania, is lobbying for cigarette-style warnings on all junk food. According to Mr. Schultz, a lot of people simply do not realize or understand the impact that unhealthy food can have on their bodies, and that tobacco-style warnings may put a lot of people off eating junk food altogether.
I think Aaron has a good point; most people know that junk food will make them overweight, but do not understand that being overweight is just a small part of what junk food does to your body. What about the link between sugar and trans fats and disease? He also talks about the mixed message of junk food companies sponsoring major sports events. If you stop and think about this for a moment, that IS pretty ironic. It’s kind of like Budweiser sponsoring Alcoholics Anonymous!
This story was recently echoed by The Sun newspaper. Doctors and dentists in the UK are lobbying to include photos of rotten teeth and overweight children on packs of sweets and cans of soda with the message: “Sugar can contribute to obesity and the need for fillings.”
Not to be left behind, scientists in New Zealand also want to implement a similar labeling system to warn consumers of the danger of consuming too much soda and junk food. Fighting Sugar in Soft Drinks (FIZZ) founder Dr. Gerhard Sundborn, said “The harm sugar, especially sugary drinks, posed to health is in line with the harm tobacco presented to the population many years ago.” Wise words indeed!
Some time ago, Canada proposed a similar labelling policy – you can watch a video of this controversial news story below.
I think it is great that, finally, the authorities are coming around to the danger of sugar and junk food. A lot of people really do not realize the problems that these foods can cause. In my opinion, it all starts with educating kids on what does and doesn’t constitute healthy food, and we as adults need to lead by example. The population of the world is getting fatter and more unhealthy, and poor health and obesity will soon reach epidemic proportions. It’s about time the doctors and governments made a stand, and at Days to Fitness are 100% behind them!
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