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Cardiologist Calls for Action on Added Sugars
Despite evidence linking excess consumption with various health issues, official bodies are skeptical

WEDNESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Despite evidence supporting the link between excess sugar consumption and various health issues, official bodies seem keen to question or deny this link, according to an observation piece published online May 21 in BMJ.

Aseem Malhotra, M.B., Ch.B., from the Royal Free Hospital in London, discusses the issues related to dietary advice on added sugar.

Malhotra notes that the American Heart Association has linked excessive consumption of sugar with several metabolic abnormalities and adverse health conditions and recommended an upper limit of six teaspoons of sugar per day for women, nine for men, and three for 4- to 8-year old children. More recent research has implicated sugar consumption with increasing rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, the food industry consistently downplays these correlations. Diabetes associations in both the United States and the United Kingdom have financial ties to sugar-related nutrition industries and question or deny the correlation between sugar and type 2 diabetes. Foods perceived as junk foods contribute to the problem of excessive sugar intake, but half of sugar consumed comes from foods that are not necessarily associated with added sugar. Food labeling does not differentiate between naturally present sugars and added sugar, an issue complicated by the unwillingness of food companies to supply this information.

"It's time for the U.K.'s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and the Department of Health to act swiftly as the dietary advice on added sugar is in desperate need of emergency surgery," Malhotra writes.

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