In honor of Halloween, John Oliver takes on SUGAR.
Apparently, the average American eats 75 pounds of sugar a year.
Oliver reports that they now put sugar in everything from crackers to salar dressings to beef and jerky.
For example, Oliver says that one serving of Clamato juice has 11g of sugar, or basically 2.3 teaspoons (which is almost a tablespoon). Which may not sound like much, but I like a lot of sugar in my morning coffee, and I still wouldn’t put a tablespoon.
He goes on to show an old ad from the sugar industry touting sugar’s healthy aspects.
He also says that the American Beverage Association weighed in with the FDA about possible new rules requiring products to detail the amount of “added sugar.” The Beverage Association would like the FDA to require products to spell out the number of “grams” rather than “teaspoons,” because teaspoons “may carry and unfair negative connotation that undermines the factual nature of nutrition information.”
In other words, people will freak if they find out how many teaspoons of sugar are actually in products, and freak out. But no one, Oliver points out, understands the metric system.
Then he shows a clip of the president of the Sugar Association, talking about sugar’s impact on obesity and diabetes:
“As it relates to obesity there’s been plenty of science that exonerates sugar, that clarifies sugar does not contribute to obesity or diabetes.”
It seems the Harvard School of Public Health disagrees:
Rising consumption of sugary drinks has been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.
Oh, there’s more:
Sugary drinks increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and gout.
A 20-year study on 120,000 men and women found that people who increased their sugary drink consumption by one 12-ounce serving per day gained more weight over time—on average, an extra pound every 4 years—than people who did not change their intake. (19) Other studies have found a significant link between sugary drink consumption and weight gain in children. (20) One study found that for each additional 12-ounce soda children consumed each day, the odds of becoming obese increased by 60% during 1½ years of follow-up. (21)
People who consume sugary drinks regularly—1 to 2 cans a day or more—have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks. (22) Risks are even greater in young adults and Asians.
A study that followed 40,000 men for two decades found that those who averaged one can of a sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than men who rarely consumed sugary drinks. (23) A related study in women found a similar sugary beverage–heart disease link. (24)
A 22-year study of 80,000 women found that those who consumed a can a day of sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of gout than women who rarely had such drinks. (25) Researchers found a similarly-elevated risk in men. (26)