Cutting out sugar isn’t a sweet deal for losing weight, says a spokesperson for the American Sugar Growers Association – AGOIC


WASHINGTON, DC — Efforts by organizations, including the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to reduce sugar consumption as a way to combat obesity, the president and CEO of the Sugar Association, said are overly simplistic and not rooted in science. .

“There are a lot of factors that aren’t discussed,” Courtney Jean, a registered dietitian who leads the Sugar Association, told attendees on January 30, 2023, at the American Sugar Growers Association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The association attended the two-day annual meeting. The Sugar Association, which represents 142,000 beet and sugarcane growers across the United States, strives to use scientific research to educate consumers on the role sugar plays in a healthy diet.

Jain said the “obsession” with reducing sugar began seven or eight years ago, when food was demonized, depending on the organization, for a variety of reasons, including contributing to tooth decay and increasing caloric intake.

The World Health Organization, for example, recommends lowering intake of free sugar — added sugar — from all sources to less than 10%, Jain said.

But sugar is not the problem, and instead of focusing on reducing its consumption, healthy groups should acknowledge that there are other elements, such as fats and oils, that contribute to weight gain, she said.

“If you use common sense, sugar is not the root of all problems,” said Jain.

Between 1970, when Americans consumed 2,024 calories per day, and 2010, the amount of calories they consumed increased by 452 or nearly 25%, according to the Sugar Association. However, over that period, added sugar consumption increased by 10% to 34.5 calories per day — from 20.8 teaspoons per day to 22.9 teaspoons per day — while calories from added oils and fats increased by 66%, to 225 calories per day. Meanwhile, calories from cereal increased by 28%, to 116 calories per day.

“We have to look at the whole diet,” Jin said.

Simply removing sugar from the diet does not mean losing weight because when you remove it, another ingredient is often added.

A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in April 2022 showed that removing sugar from foods usually affects the mass and texture of the product, so bulking agents such as modified starch are added to it. Carbohydrate-based products, which usually provide energy, can increase the calorie content of the product compared to what it would have been in its original form.

Besides working to teach health organizations that diets with added sugar can be healthy, the Sugar Association is highlighting to them that artificial sweeteners are unhealthy.

Some studies show that non-sugar sweeteners can cause health problems including digestive issues, headaches, and weight gain.

“Sugar is functional, and sugar is a real food. Not all of the substitutes are,” Jen said.

Jain said that while health organizations still promote the use of artificial sweeteners rather than added sugar, the public does not trust non-sugar products and wants labels to clearly state when and what type they are used in their foods.

She encouraged farmers to educate the public about sugar because they know their product A to Z.

“The more consumers understand our industry, the more we can expose people to the factory, to the farmer, who is the producer. Keep talking,” Jin said.


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