Friday, April 9, 2010

U.S. Sugar Group: 'Don't Blame Us for Obesity'

Source: Reuters Health (Summary by NIM)

US sugar producers and manufacturers feel that sugar is being used as a scapegoat when it comes to placing the blame for obesity. The Sugar Association Inc. claims that sugar itself is not part of the problem, and that over all, sugar consumption per capita has actually declined in recent years.

According to the president and CEO of the Sugar Association Inc., blaming sweetened products such as soft-drinks and some types of junk food for obesity is misleading because those products actually contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and not sugar itself. Not to shift the blame over to HFCS, he was cautious to reiterate that on the whole, the consumption of sweeteners has declined as well. He noted that children are less active than ever and this is likely a bigger contributor to the problem than junk food consumption. In reality, diet is responsible for 80% or more of weight gain or loss when it comes to calories, whereas physical activity plays an important but slightly different role in health.

According to one official for the group, "The data simply doesn't back up that caloric sweeteners are the cause for the obesity epidemic in this country,".

Find out more about this sticky issue by reading the article called "U.S. sugar group says sugar not to blame for obesity" from Reuters Health (Apr. 8, 2010)