The war on sugar

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Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on large serving sizes of sugary drinks is yet another effort to curtail the dangers that come along with high sugar intake — namely, obesity.

“There is an obesity epidemic in New York and across the nation,” says Constance Brown-Riggs, Registered Dietitian and National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Every day, I counsel people in my office with type 2 diabetes, one of the first consequences of the obesity epidemic.”

“The healthcare cost of these ‘twin epidemics’ is increasing, while life expectancy is decreasing,” she adds.

Obesity is now said to be on a par with cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke. The difference? Its effects now impact a younger and younger population.

Protecting the kids

Bloomberg’s concept of linking sugar to obesity is not new. The medical and nutritional community has long sang the woes of sugary beverages, especially among children.

A 32-ounce “super sized” Hi-C orange drink from McDonald’s provides 350 calories and 94 grams of sugar in one serving. Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, and three meals a day, that’s more than half of the allotted calories for an entire meal — and one-third of the recommended amount of sugar for the whole day. Increasing calories from sugar can lead to increasing pounds.

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