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Beware Big Sugar

Beware Big Sugar

Despite solid research on how damaging added sugars are to your health, Big Sugar companies are still pushing back.

The music industry is a big fan of added sugar. Ranker lists 97 song titles containing the word: The Archies’ Sugar, Sugar comes in as number one; Beyonce’s Sugar Mama is the last on the list.

The sugar industry is equally enthusiastic about its product—there’s added sugar in around 68 percent of processed and packaged foods. Despite solid scientific info on how damaging added sugars are to your health—they contribute to everything from diabetes, obesity, cardio woes, dementia and a lousy sex life to body-wide inflammation associated with arthritis and wrinkles—you still hear about supposedly science-based “reports” that push back against efforts to reduce added sugar consumption in our food chain.

Well, research reveals how Big Sugar manages to get these “research findings” into the news. Researchers looked at over 17,000 pages of emails between academics at U.S. universities and senior figures at an organization called the International Life Science Institute, or ILSI. Available through Freedom of Information requests, the correspondence showed that this non-profit, founded by a former Coca Cola VP, is actually a tool for big sugar. As one email from ILSI leadership put it, the U.S. guidelines bolstering child and adult education on limiting sugar intake are a "real disaster!"

So, until July 1, 2021 when added sugars become mandated to appear on every nutrition label, be extra careful to avoid sugared-up foods. Def Leopard may sing Pour Some Sugar on Me, but don’t do that to your beverages, snacks and meals.

Medically reviewed in November 2018.

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