There are 600,000 items in the grocery. At least 80% of those have added sugar. The average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar a day or 150 pounds a year. The by-product of our high sugar consumption is a health crisis unlike anything we’ve experienced before.
Yet, in spite of the obesity epidemic and the increase in chronic disease that are associated with it, the food industry shamelessly continues to market sugary foods to both children and adults.
The movie Fed Up, a Stephanie Soechtig film produced by Katie Couric and Laurie David, peels the layers off of our national health crisis. Fed Up shows us how the food industry has been secretive about the amount of hidden sugar in foods, deliberately markets sugary foods to children, and continues to deny that the dramatic increase in sugar consumption over the last thirty years is to blame for many of our health problems.
Fed Up Movie Trailer
As our sugar consumption goes up so do our health problems. In line with the increase in sugar consumption are a rise in overweight, obesity and the chronic diseases that accompany these conditions. And there seems to be no stopping the trend.
Today more than one-third (39%) of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. In two decades it will be 95%. Currently 17% of American children are obese. By 2050 that number is expected to rise to 25%.
It’s estimated that 25.8 million adults and children (8.3%) have a diagnosis of diabetes. By 2050, one-third of Americans will be diabetic.
All fingers point to sugar for the rise in these frightening trends.
Hidden Facts About Hidden Sugar
Excellent food label reading skills is something you need if you’re going to choose the healthiest foods. Food labels provide information about how much sodium, fat, sugar, protein, and other nutrients a product contains. But being fastidious about reading labels might not help you control your sugar intake. Here’s why.
The food label gives a PDV (% daily value) for each nutrient. PDV’s are based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet so the consumer has to learn to read the label and determine how much of each item they need in relationship to their total daily calorie intake.
Mysteriously, there are no PDVs listed on the label for sugar. The amount of sugar is listed but not the percentage value to tell you what portion of your allowance you’re going to consume which makes it harder to track.
The truth is, if the food label were to display the PDV for sugar, many products would show that just one serving would be over 100% of the daily value and that’s not good for business.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons (24 grams) a day for women and nine teaspoons (36 grams) a day for men. A ‘healthy’ breakfast of a five ounce serving of fruit-on-the-bottom Greek yogurt and an eight ounce glass of orange juice will put you at your daily limit if you’re a man and three teaspoons over if you’re a woman. The yogurt has three teaspoons of sugar and the juice has six. Give this breakfast to a toddler and they’ve had enough sugar for the week!
Join The Fed Up Challenge
Prove that you’re serious about getting the sugar out of your diet by joining the Fed Up Challenge where you pledge to eliminate added sugar for 10 days. You’ll get daily e-mails from Katie Couric and are encouraged to post pictures of your healthy meals on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #FedUpChallenge for a chance to win prizes.
Each of us need to do our part to raise awareness about what the food that is on the grocery store shelves is doing to our health and push the food industry to take some responsibility for the national health crisis that they’ve helped to create.
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