Thursday 9 January 2014

Sugar consumption is falling...we seem to have missed this fact


A great deal of nonsense about sugar - topped by the atrocious nonsense in The Independent - requires a little balance. You would after all be expected to believe that we are in a sort of drug-addled feeding frenzy of sugar consumption.

So here are some facts about the consumption of "non-milk extrinsic sugars" (this is all the added sugar as well as honey) in the UK. The figures come from the National Nutrition and Diet Survey (NNDS) conducted by the Government to provide a nationally representative snapshot of the nutritional intake and status of the UK population.

In 2000/01 NMES consumption in daily grammes was:

Male: 79
Female: 51

In 2008-20011 the average is:

Male: 70
Female: 50.1

So our sugar consumption has fallen. And this includes ALL forms of added sugar - the scary hidden stuff in processed food and the spoonful of lovely honey you stir into your hot toddy. Other than for women over 65 every category of consumption has fallen - with the biggest fall being among children.

It is worth noting also that the average total energy consumption (those pesky calories) has fallen by around 10% in this period - hardly an indicator of an "obesity pandemic".

Maybe sugar is bad for us - certainly eating too much of it can contribute to poor health and we perhaps should pay a little more attention to what's actually in the food we eat. But this "sugar is a poison", "we're addicted to sugar" argument is quite simply a complete fabrication. It just isn't true.


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