Sugar is routinely blamed for myriad negative health outcomes, most notably obesity. A recent Bloomberg Business article, however, is poking holes in these accusations with data showing that sugar consumption has been going down while obesity rates have been going up.
“Added fats and grains account for a growing share of total caloric intake,” writes journalist John Tozzi. “These two categories, which include oils and fats in processed foods and flour in cereals and breads, made up about 37 percent of our diet in 1970. By 2010, they were 46 percent—a larger share of the growing pie.”
On the other hand, “the total amount of sweeteners we eat has declined,” says Tozzi.
And charts that accompany the article show that added sugar consumption decreased 15 percent between 1999 and 2013 while obesity rates continued to rise.
Moreover, according to USDA data, the average American diet added 445 calories per day during the past 40 years. Of those, 34 calories, or just 9 percent, came from sugar.
Given this data, it is goes against basic logic to blame this one source of calories for the nation’s obesity challenge.
Instead of singling out one ingredient, we must take a holistic approach to the diet and educate people on balancing what they eat, drink and do.
The beverage industry is doing its part to help Americans be mindful of the beverage choices they make and help them manage their calorie intake. We are providing more low- and no-calorie options and smaller portion sizes than ever before as well as clear, easy-to-read calorie information on the front of all of our packaging to help people make the choice that's right for them. And with our Balance Calories Initiative, we are working toward a common goal of reducing beverage calories in the American diet per person nationally by 20 percent by 2025.
To find out more about how America’s leading beverage companies are helping Americans achieve balance, visit DeliveringChoices.org.