Do Not Mess with the Candy Man!


Following our previous Blog “Added Sugars aren’t Just Empty Calories but Negative Nutrition with Health Risks,"public health authorities continue to lower the tolerable daily added sugar intake limit, but not without significant interference from the Sugar Association and associated lobby groups. The call to reduce sugar intake is not a recent trend but a long-standing scientific consensus. Dating back to the original “Dietary Goals for the United States” in 1977, also known as the so-called McGovern Report, leading nutrition scientists didn’t only call for a reduction in meat and other sources of saturated fat and cholesterol but also sugar. The goal was to reduce America’s sugar intake to no more than 10 percent of our daily diet. “In 2003, [the World Health Organization] WHO released a joint report with the Food and Agriculture Organization entitled Diet, nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases which, for the first time [since the McGovern Report], called for a reduction in sugar intake to under 10% of total dietary energy [caloric] consumption.” (NutritionFacts.Org)

Although public and private health authorities have continuously warned about the risks associated with sugar consumption, the Sugar Association and associated lobby groups misinform the public by influencing these guidelines. For example, the Sugar Association responded to the study by threatening to get the United States Congress to withdraw all funding from the WHO. The threat was described as “tantamount to blackmail and worse than any pressure exerted by the tobacco lobby.” So, do not mess with the candy man.

Appended below is a one-minute read on the history  (indebted to NutritionFacts.Org):

“The conclusions would hang sugar,” reported the president of the Sugar Association. “The McGovern Report has to be neutralized.” “The Sugar Industry Empire Strikes Back”—the National Cattlemen’s Association was on its side and, just like Big Sugar, appealed to the Senate Select Committee to withdraw the 2003 report. When the official U.S. Dietary Guidelines were released in 1980 and again in 1985, it was without a specific limit, like 10 percent. It “said, simply, and in just four words, ‘Avoid too much sugar.’” (whatever that means.) “In 1990, it went to five words, ‘Use sugars only in moderation,’ and in 1995 to six: ‘Choose a diet moderate in sugars.’” In 2000, it at least went back to limiting intake—specifically, “‘Choose beverages and foods to limit your intake of sugars’ (ten words), but even that was too strong. Under pressure from sugar lobbyists, the government agencies substituted the word ‘moderate’ for ‘limit’ so it read ‘Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugars.’” Then, the 2005 guidelines committee dropped the s-word completely, encouraging Americans to “Choose carbohydrates wisely…” Again, what does that mean? In its Sugar E-News, the Sugar Association Incorporated (SAI) wrote that it “is committed to the protection and promotion of sucrose [table sugar] consumption. Any disparagement of sugar will be met with forceful, strategic public comments.”

The Slender Solution Team

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