Why Is Sugar the Target of Public Criticism?

There is no denying that Coke is one of the most popular drinks that almost everyone is obsessed with. Yet nowadays, many countries are paying increasing attention to Coke consumption and the physical health conditions of their residents. Singapore is the first country to ban ads on high-sugar beverages, and these beverages will also be compulsorily affixed with eye-catching health warning labels. This approach is similar to their attitude towards tobacco as well, but the purpose is to motivate beverage manufactures to lower the sugar percentage.

But why has the Singapore government put sugar in the dock? Singapore’s sugar control is mainly due to the fact that 1 out of 9 Singaporeans in the country suffers from diabetes, and its prevalence rate ranks only second to the United States. Such a high coincidence is directly associated with Singaporeans’ indulgence in sugar, especially sugary drinks. In this case, the labeling and ban on sugary beverages were first targeted by the government, with a high possibility of adding additional in the future.

Mexico started taxing soft drinks five years ago, and the highest tax rate even reached 10%. Some researchers predict that the sugar tax will help Mexico prevent nearly 200,000 cases of diabetes, 20,000 strokes or heart diseases within 10 years, and it even can save the lives of nearly 20,000 adults over the age of 35. The sugar tax did work not only in reducing consumer purchases, but also in affecting corporate strategies. In 2018, UK’s sugar tax came into effect by giving domestic beverage companies a two-year buffer period to reduce the sugar of their products and accept tax increases.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), what we need to be wary of is free sugar, which is mainly divided into two categories, monosaccharides and disaccharides (added sugar) in processed foods and sugars in natural fruit and syrups. These sugars can be quickly digested and absorbed, yet the intake of sugar through fruits is a healthier choice. At the same time, there is no evidence showing that the naturally occurring sugars in vegetables, fruit and mild are harmful to human bodies. For the majority, the excessive intake of added sugar will eventually lead to obesity.

Spoon Csu-Brown Sugar White Sugar Mixing Bowl Brooke Buchan / Spoon Whenever our brain is stimulated by sweets, it releases a chemical called dopamine and gives you a hint to persuade you to eat more food. Then, you start to eat sugar time and time again, resulting in the release of papaverine and endorphins, but this excitement doesn’t last long, and soon you will feel sleepy and try to seek the next stimuli. Therefore, the more high-sugar foods you have, the more you crave for high-sugar foods, which seems like an addictive behavior. If it is not intentionally controlled, it will definitely affect our body health in a subtle way. The most evident effect of excessive sugar consumption is the health of our teeth. At the same time, it may also lead to headaches, memory loss, and damage to collagen in our body.

We often ignore some foods that seem to be sugar-free or low-sugar, while the amount of free sugar contained is striking. Light-flavored salad dressing and even canned tuna contain 4-6 grams of added sugar per serving.

In recent years, senile diseases such as diabetes and heart disease have occurred earlier and frequently, and obesity becomes the major cause. Thus, the hazards of a high-sugar diet have already appeared, and they will become more rampant in the next 10 to 20 years.

In the end, I wish everyone a healthier life in the new year. No matter whether you’re suffering from sugar or not, I hope you gain some basic knowledge on sugar after reading this article, and probably you may start thinking of your daily dietary habits and sugar control in the future.