63% of Americans Actively Avoid Soda

The soda craze is going flat–at least, according to a new Gallup poll, which found that almost two-thirds of Americans actively avoid soda in their diet.

avoid soda drinking

While 41% percent of those polled in 2002 said that they try to steer clear of soda, that number has now jumped to 63%. Gallup’s poll shows that generally Americans are making more effort to have healthier diets. More than nine out of ten Americans try to include fruits and vegetables in their diets, and 52% said that they are trying to avoid sugars.

Don’t start pouring one out for the dying soda business just yet, though. A 2012 Gallup poll also found that 48% of Americans drink at least one glass of soda a day

Source: TIME

WHO-proposed sugar recommendation comes to less than a soda per day

The World Health Organization wants you to stop eating so much sugar. Seriously. In draft guidelines proposed this week, WHO is encouraging people to consume less than 5% of their total daily calories from sugars. The organization’s current guidelines, published in 2002, recommend eating less than 10% of your total daily calories from sugars.

Most Americans still consume much more. Our sweet tooth increased 39% between 1950 and 2000, according to the USDA. The average American now consumes about three pounds of sugar each week. “There is increasing concern that consumption of free sugars, particularly in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages, may result in … an increase in total caloric intake, leading to an unhealthy diet, weight gain and increased risk of noncommunicable diseases,” WHO said in a statement.

Of particular concern, WHO said, is the role sugar plays in causing dental diseases worldwide. For an adult at a normal body mass index, or BMI, eating 5% would be around 25 grams of sugar — or six teaspoons. That’s less than is typically found in a single can of regular soda, which contains about 40 grams of sugar.

To find the amount of calories from sugar in a product, multiply the grams by 4. For example, a product containing 15 grams of sugar has 60 calories from sugar per serving, according to the American Heart Association. If you eat 2,000 calories a day, that’s 3%.

WHO’s proposed guidelines apply to sugars added to foods by manufacturers, as well as those found naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates. They do not apply to those found in fresh produce.

“Much of the sugars consumed today are ‘hidden’ in processed foods that are not usually seen as sweets,” the WHO website states.

Did you know sugar is often added to your frozen pizza? How about your bread, soup, yogurt and mayonnaise? As consumers became more concerned about the amount of fat in their food, manufacturers went out of their way to make low-fat items — often substituting sugar to preserve the taste.

Choosing foods with fewer added sugars at the grocery story may soon get a little easier. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed several changes to the nutrition labels you see on packaged foods and beverages.

The proposed labels would also note how much added sugar is in a product. Right now, it’s hard to know what is naturally occurring sugar and what has been added by the manufacturer.

The WHO guidelines will be open for public comment until March 31. Then WHO will finalize and publish its recommendations.

Source: CNN news

Excess sugar consumption from soda, results in cardiovascular death

A new study is warning that America’s love affair with sugary food and drink is also doubling our risk of a heart-related premature death.

While previous research has indicated that consumption of added sugars can negatively affect health, the new study — published in JAMA Internal Medicine — is the first nationally-representative study examining how added sugars affect rates of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Unlike the natural sugars existing in fruits and some vegetables, added sugars are introduced to foods during their processing and preparation. Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda are the leading source of added sugar consumption in the U.S., followed by grain-based desserts, like cookies and cake.

For their research, study author Quanhe Yang, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and his colleagues used national health survey data to examine how added sugar consumption affected rates of cardiovascular death among the population.

They divided the population into segments: those who consumed the least amount of added sugars – less than 10 percent of daily calories consumed – and those who consumed at least 25 percent of their daily calories from added sugar. Overall, they found that people who consumed the highest amounts of added sugars were more than twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

“If you are consuming in the medium quintile, compared to lowest, you increase risk [of cardiovascular death] by 18 percent,” Yang said. “[But for] the fourth quintile versus the lowest quintile, the risk is [increased] 38 percent. So highest to lowest it is more than doubled.”

Though previous studies had indicated that consumption of added sugars was harmful to health, the researchers hadn’t expected to see such a large increase in risk of death between the highest- and lowest-consuming groups.

“It’s not entirely surprising because we already have emerging evidence to show high consumption of added sugar is linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes, hypertension and instance of CVD,” Yang said. “But what was a little unexpected is the appearance of risk is not linear, meaning when you have the higher consumption of added sugar your risk increases exponentially.”

Previous research has indicated that between 2005 and 2010, 10 percent of U.S. adults consumed 25 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugars. While recommended levels of added sugar intake vary, the CDC adheres to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends limiting added sugar intake to 5 to 15 percent of daily total calories.

It’s still not fully understood why added sugars increases risk of CVD.

“There are different explanations why it increases cardiovascular disease, probably the higher intake of added sugar may play a role in multiple pathways,” Yang said. “Some studies suggest suggest it will increase your risk of hypertension, a leading risk factor of cardiovascular disease; [it will also increase] accumulation of fat in your liver and promotes dyslipidemia; it’s also associated with increase of the inflammation markers, so those are the possible mechanics but we do not know why at a certain point your risk [becomes] accelerated.”

Next, Yang and his colleagues hope to study how the risk of cardiovascular death changes among people who have made efforts to improve their eating habits, including lowering consumption of added sugars. They are also interested in studying the effects of added sugar consumption among children – and how that affects their risk of death and disease later in life.

Overall, Yang said he hopes people will start to pay more attention to the amount of added sugars in their diet.

“Our study shows most of us are consuming too much added sugar, and higher added sugar [consumption] is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” Yang said. “If someone can…[they should] read [food] labels to see how much added sugar is in there and try to choose the lowest added sugar and reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, which is number one contributor

Source: Fox News