December 04, 2015

Global diet is getting `sweeter`, specially `beverages`

A new study has highlighted that the global diet is getting sweeter, particularly when it comes to beverages.
Currently, 68 percent of packaged foods and beverages in the USA contain caloric sweeteners, 74 percent include both caloric and low-calorie sweeteners, and just 5 percent are made with low-calorie sweeteners only.
Barry M Popkin of the University of North Carolina said has said that the added sugar comes from hundreds of different versions of sugar, all of which have the same equal health effect.
The authors found that trends in sales of sugar-sweetened beverages around the world are increasing in terms of calories sold per person per day and volume sold per person per day.
They said that the consumption was rising fastest in low- and middle-income countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania, adding that the four regions with the current highest consumption are Latin America, North America, Australasia and Western Europe, though intakes were beginning to decline in the latter three.
As weight gain and increased risk of diabetes, hypertension and many cardiovascular problems are associated with added caloric sweetener consumption, the World Health Organization (WHO) is promoting major initiatives to reduce intake. Many governments have already implemented policies with this goal, including taxation, reduction of availability in schools, restrictions on marketing of sugary foods to children, public awareness campaigns and front-of-pack labeling.
The authors have suggested that the governments should view them as a learning process and improve their design over time.
The authors found that consumption seems to be decreasing in countries with taxes on sugar sweetened products (e.g., Mexico, Finland, Hungary and France).
They concluded that their data shows that consumption seems to be decreasing in countries with taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (eg, Mexico, Finland, Hungary, and France).
WHO and most countries recognise the importance of reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to improve public health.

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