I call for a 20% sugar cap on treats & fizzy drinks

This week I called for sugar levels in treats and fizzy drinks to be capped at 20%. I proposed the measure following a World Health Organisation recommendation that no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar should be consumed in 24 hours.
The vast majority of people are totally unaware of how much sugar they are actually consuming. For example, there are an incredible 9 teaspoons of sugar in a can of cola and 11 in a caramel Frappuccino.
Even among those who are making a conscious effort to be healthy, many people don’t realise that the low fat options like yogurts, cereal bars, juice boxes etc. are often full of sugar to improve the taste.
New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has concluded that sugar is more nefarious health-wise than fat. Meanwhile, other experts in the field have said sugar is as threatening to our health as tobacco.
Almost all chocolate bars contain between 30% and 60% sugar. The taste buds then adapt to this level of sugar, which in turn cause cravings and sugar addictions. In fact, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has compared sugar addiction to drug addiction.
The most terrifying part of the sugar crisis is that the majority of people simply don’t know that it’s happening. Who among us would eat a chocolate bar knowing it contains 60% sugar, never mind give it to our children? The public expect a certain amount of sugar in treats but not over 50%.
There is an escalating obesity epidemic in this country which is costing the State several million euro annually and contributing to thousands of premature deaths. Pressure must now be put on the Food manufacturers to assume a duty of care to their customers; they should cap the levels of sugar and sweetners for chocolate and other such treats at 20%.
In addition the issue of misleadingly labelling food as a ‘low fat’ option when it is full of sugar, must also be addressed as a matter of urgency.

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