Difficult to measure sugar in food

Difficult to measure sugar in food / Health News

Sugar in food is difficult for consumers to recognize


Too much sugar is unhealthy. This realization is not necessarily new and most people are aware of the health warnings of scientists and physicians. Yet, most people consume more than their body does well, and some consumers find it hard to control consumption. In addition, the information on the packaging is not always clear and sugar is hidden behind a lot of labels on the food. This lack of transparency is wanted by the food industry, because the products can be sold much better with a sugar sweet taste.

The Nutrition Fact Table on foods identifies sugar as a sub-category of carbohydrates. However, the imprint of this table is not mandatory for the food companies. Most of the sugar is supplied to the body via finished foods. This is in soups, delicacies, sauces and of course in sweets. In ketchup, jelly, coca cola, fruit yoghurts and rusks. As a rule, 5 and 50 pieces of sugar are used.

Around 60 percent of Germans are overweight
According to a report by the Federal State of Berlin in cooperation with the EU Commission of 2010, almost 60% of Germans are overweight. Sugar damages the body in two main ways. On the one hand it promotes the development of tooth decay and on the other hand it makes you fat due to its calories. The European Food Safety Authority sees a decisive factor in the steady increase in obesity among children and adolescents, especially in sugary drinks. Excessive intake of sugar is also repeatedly responsible for the development of type 2 diabetes.

Secondary diseases burden the health system
The resulting complications such as osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, fatty liver and calcification of the coronary heart disease (coronary heart disease), lead to a heavy financial burden on our health system. But it is not just in Germany that sugar has become a problem. Our neighbors are also struggling with the consequences of excessive sugar consumption and the EU is increasingly committed to action. "Even if the health policy is the responsibility of the individual member states, the EU Commission wants to work together with the EU countries to tackle the problem of obesity," says Reinhard Hönighaus, spokesman for the German representation of the European Commission „dpa“. The EU Commission can provide the financial resources to promote healthy eating projects.

The German Nutrition Society recommends consuming sugar and foods with different sugars as little as possible and banishing sweetened drinks from the diet if possible. But other organizations are also concerned about sugar consumption. The consumer organization „Food Watch“ for example, recommends „Reduce the amount of sugar in baking recipes by half“. The biscuits and cake would still taste sweet enough. Since 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that „Should account for less than 10 percent of the daily intake of food“.

Which sugars are there??
The generic term sugar covers many different substances. Sugar can be obtained from plants or, if it is the ordinary table sugar, from sugar beets and sugar cane. In any case, it will not be easy for the consumer.

The Consumer Centers counted around 70 different names in a survey last year. Dextrose, fructose or fructose, maltose or malt sugar, sucrose, maltodextrin, invert sugar, corn and wheat starch, all of which are in some form sugars that are found in many foods and are not perceived by consumers as sugars.

In so-called „Light products“ The industry often uses sugar substitutes, such as asparam. In too large amounts, these funds can laxative and really reliable studies on the long-term effects of sugar substitutes are not yet available ... With the already discussed for some time „nutritional traffic light“ could be a lot easier for the consumer. With it you could quickly see at a glance how healthy a food really is. And the color „green“ is considered harmless and „red“ to be understood as a warning. So far, the food industry has successfully resisted an introduction. (Fr)

Image: Thomas Siepmann, Pixelio.de