There has been so much in the news lately regarding the consumption of sugar in our society. Will it have an effect on us?
The World Health Organization (WHO) is worried about how much sugar people all over the planet are eating.
The organisation has recommended that adults and children reduce their daily intake of “free” sugars – such as fructose or table sugar added to foods and drinks by manufacturers, as well as those naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices – to less than 10 per cent of their total energy take. Cutting that figure to 5 per cent, or roughly six teaspoons or less a day, would provide additional health benefits, WHO said.
Views on sugar and sugar tax:
– 63 per cent of respondents believe they should consume less sugar.
– 73 per cent believe sugar contributes to the country’s obesity problems.
– 39 per cent agree soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks should be taxed.
– 34 per cent agree high-sugar foods should be taxed.
– 26 per cent agree high-fat foods should be taxed.
Source: Southern Cross Health Society’s health survey, September 2014.
The market for natural and low-sugar sweeteners is rapidly expanding. There are many reasons people are choosing to reduce their sugar intake; excess sugar consumption is linked to a myriad of health problems, including obesity, metabolic syndrome and tooth decay.
In its most refined form, white sugar contains no nutrients and works purely as a source of empty calories.
Instead of sugary fizzy drink, try soda water with a dash of mint, lemon or lime.
A push for a sugary drink tax was not the answer for obesity and would disadvantage the poor far more than the rich, he said.
“In practice there’s no country that has put a tax on these products at any level that has had any effect on obesity.”
New Zealand has had varying incarnations of the sugar tax debate in recent years with limited political support.
The Greens have backed calls for a sugary drinks levy but National has rejected it and Labour’s health spokeswoman Annette King said she was only prepared to look at it if there was convincing evidence it would work.
Public appetite for a soft drink tax has been mixed, but support was growing, University of Otago professor Tony Blakely said.