The big news this week, is the article in JAMA Internal Medicine that describes the way the sugar industry in the 1950s deliberately shifted public focus from sugar to fat to make people believe that fat (including eggs) was bad. A whole generation has grown up gorging on sugar-based food products, while believing that all fat-based food is bad.

It is worthwhile reading the New York Times piece on this and also the long read that came out in the Guardian earlier this year.

Tainted research has always been the bane of good medical practice, but more about that with specific examples in future articles.

What this has led to, is the proliferation of an entire industry where virtually every packaged food item that we find on grocery shelves has extra sugar. This in turn is the reason why the individual sugar intake has risen to around 71 kg per year in most high-income societies.

It is this increased sugar intake that is part of the world-wide problem related to the increase in obesity and cardiometabolic health and policy makers everywhere are devising innovative strategies to reduce the usage of unnecessary sugar in foods as well as the intake of sugar by people through a combination of regulation and education.

What can we do to reduce our sugar dependence? There are many sites with suggestions, both official and otherwise but the simple facts to follow would be

  • Cut back on adding extra sugar to beverages (especially tea for us Indians) and food
  • Cut back on cola and similar fizzy drinks
  • Cut back also on fruit juices, both natural and more importantly the packaged ones
  • Reduce the intake of all packaged, processed foods (chips, cookies, etc) to the extent possible

Hopefully, these measures should allow us to control our sugar intake, which in turn would go a long way to help us maintain a low-carb diet, which in turn would help with controlling weight and pushing back cardiometabolic problems.