June 21, 2021

Spaniards consume triple the amount of sugar recommended by the WHO | Society

Spaniards consume triple the amount of sugar recommended by the WHO | Society

To eat more sugar does not need to be sweet. This food is intrinsic to many products, from fruit to dairy, can be added to tablespoons or by using honey, but is also hidden in many processed dishes (from bread to pre-cooked), warns nutritionist Carlos Ríos, who, together with the insurer DKV, has prepared a document on the risk of this nutrient and how to reduce it. Something highly recommended in Spain. According to the Anibes study, a reference work on the Mediterranean diet in particular and the Spanish diet in general, the average intake of sugar is 71.5 grams per day. World Health Organization Recommend that they be no more than 25 grams, or 10% of total calories. And the cause is clear: obesity and diabetes are on the rise, and very closely linked to this food (although it is not the only one, and the insurer already prepares works on fat and salt).

In the act of presenting the commitment this morning in Madrid, Ríos, creator of a movement that has called Realfooding, that could be translated by real or authentic food, has said that, in general, half of the intake of a person must be of vegetable origin, and up to 90% of poorly processed foods, including meat and fish. The other 10% is for those whims like a birthday cake, a pizza or any other food called ultraprocessed. But not all are bad. The nutritionist gives a rule: that they have less than 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams.

To help meet these objectives, apart from education, the document recommends aspects such as taxing sugary drinks (they have up to the equivalent of 12 tablespoons of sugar) and removing some of these products from dispensing machines, especially in schools and health centers. They also recommend that you prepare the food yourself, because this reduces the consumption of preparations and assesses the nutrients. Because the risk of the ultraprocessed "is not only what they have, but what they do not have," said Rios, in reference to eating them do not eat other healthier products. And, clearly, improve the labeling.

But, in addition, the document is especially critical in two aspects. On the one hand, it accuses the sugar industry of employing "tactics quite similar to those already seen in the tobacco industry," such as diverting attention from sugar to fats when the epidemic of obesity began to be discussed. And, in this respect, it shows on a graph with data from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) how sugar consumption is much more related to the country's obesity rate than fat.

The other scam takes him the recent agreement between the Ministry of Health and the manufacturers of food to reduce 10% of average content of sugar, salt and fats of almost 4,000 products. There are variations depending on the food. For cookies, for example, it's 5%. "If you analyze its translation into practice, you can see that its impact on improving health is minimal". And he gives as an example that "if some biscuits contain 20% sugar, and with the measure their presence is reduced by 5%, the cookies will present 19% sugar, an almost negligible decrease". That is why DKV considers that "this measure is not an effective action to combat obesity, since it will continue to sell unhealthy, ultraprocessed products with large amounts of hidden sugar".

Rivers affects this measure. The reformulation – the process theoretically should be undertaken by food manufacturers to meet these reductions – "is not effective", and states that it is not about eating the same thing, trusting that they have reduced their harmful components a bit, but to change the type of food.


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