It’s increasingly hard to eat less sugar, as market shelves are filled with sugary products. In the past ten years alone, global sugar intake has risen by ten percent. In what’s not the first and surely not the last appeal of the sort, the World Health Organization reports adults and children from the Americas to Western Europe and the Middle East must halve their daily sugar intake to reach acceptable levels. Otherwise the risk of obesity and tooth decay, to name a few, will skyrocket. In terms of daily energy intake, the new guidelines means that people should keep sugar at a maximum of 10% of equivalent energy.
Robert H. Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and is mostly working on childhood obesity. You might have heard of him before, since one of his talks called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” went viral on YouTube, with over 3 million views. He argues that the rivers of Coca-Cola and Pepsi consumed by young people today have as much (if not more) to do with obesity as the mountains of burgers. In this line, “zero fat” products are being marketed feverishly nowadays to adjust for a heightened awareness on obesity, but ironically these contain lots of sugar which could arguably be worse.