I won’t state the obvious and lecture you on how bad sugar is for your health; I love sugary treats and often choose to forget about what it’s doing to my body when I’m indulging (and trust me, when I indulge, I indulge). But recent studies show that people are becoming increasingly concerned about sugar levels and it is now being described as ‘new tobacco’ by doctors and health campaigners.
Last week a campaign launched by health experts declared that people who consume a sugary drink a day not only risk diabetes and obesity but also increase their chances of heart disease by a third.
This idea is being turned away by the food and beverage industry, with Gavin Partington, The director general of the British Soft Drinks Association saying: “If these campaigners were genuinely interested in public health they would be seeking to educate all consumers about the importance of a balanced diet and physical exercise rather than erroneously targeting one product category and making claims not supported by the evidence.”
But the Food Standards Agency (FSA) conducted a recent study which revealed that the concerns about sugar levels by the population as a whole have increased to 47% since past research in November 2010 which was 38%.
Organisations including the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, British Dietetic Association, CitizensUK and Faculty of Public Health are now proposing the idea of taxing fizzy drinks which would put prices of standards cans up by around 7p.
This isn’t the first time this idea has been suggested by health experts, as this video from 2013 shows.
They believe that this will reduce consumption, especially from youngsters, which could prevents thousands of people from suffering with deadly diseases in the future.
Despite this what I think we all need to remember is that everything is about balance. I cannot drink a cup of tea without sugar and am probably the biggest chocolate fiend I know, but like fats and carbs and protein, sugar is a necessity for our diets and it would be bad for you (and pretty much impossible) to live without it. As long as you do not overdo it, it’s not going to kill you.
I personally do little things to keep my diet balanced. For example, I have 2-3 sugars in my tea. So if I have more than 2-3 cups of tea a day I won’t eat chocolate that day. Similarly, if I have a fizzy drink I will make sure I am going to be active for the rest of that day. Or, if I decide I just want a really fat day where I return from the shop over the road with a carrier bag full of sugary treats, I’ll just ensure that for the rest of the week I’m extra active and healthy.