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THURSDAY, AUGUST 4, 2016
The Rockaway Times
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By Peter Galvin, MD
Ask
the
DOC
Back in April one of my col-
umns mentioned the 2015-
2020 Dietary Guidelines for
Americans. It was produced by
the Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS) and
the Department of Agriculture
(USDA). Although the dietary
recommendations were most-
ly common sense, I would like
to go into more detail about
one of the recommendations
in the Guidelines. This recom-
mendation is not-so-sweet ad-
vice for sugar lovers.
Sugar, specifically added
sugar, constitutes about 13.4
percent of daily calories for
American adults and about 17
percent for children and ad-
olescents, despite the recom-
mendation that added sugar
not be above 10 percent of the
average daily caloric intake.
The American Heart Associa-
tion (AHA) goes even further,
recommending limiting added
sugars to no more than 100 cal-
ories a day for women, 150 for
men. This is about five percent
of daily caloric intake or half
of what the Guidelines recom-
mend. One 16-ounce Coke or
Pepsi would take care of the
entire daily consumption of
added sugar if 10 percent was
the recommendation that one
followed. Added sugars are
linked to obesity but also in-
crease the risk of high blood
pressure, inflammation, ab-
dominal fatness, elevated lipid
levels, type 2 diabetes, heart
disease and some cancers.
In the typical US diet, 31
percent of added sugars come
from snacks and sweets and 47
percent come from added sug-
ar in beverages (excludes milk
and 100 percent fruit juice).
Twenty-five percent of added
sugars come from sweetened
soda alone. Some sugar can
appear in natural products like
fruits and dairy products but
consumption of these prod-
ucts is not limited because
of the other nutrients they
contain that are needed for a
healthy diet.
Increasingly the government
is looking for ways to control
our diets, if not most aspects
of our life. As I have said be-
fore the government assumes
that we are too stupid to make
our own dietary decisions, and
perhaps that may be true for
some individuals. The govern-
ment has aimed its regulatory
cannon at added sugar and in
particular sugary sodas. That
cannon consists of public ed-
ucation, portion-size control
(remember Mayor Mike?), tax-
ation, package labeling and
access restriction in schools
and at the workplace. In 2010
the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids
Act was passed and its Smart
Snacks in School standards
resulted in limiting access to
junk food and sugary drinks
for kids. In addition many
fast food chains have dropped
sugary drinks from their kid’s
menus. All this is designed
to reduce childhood obesity,
which of course is a good idea.
However, in my opinion, it
should be the parents and not
the government determining
what a child eats.
So try to limit your daily con-
sumption of added sugar to
200 calories for a woman, 300
for a man. Of course if you are
diabetic that number should
be zero. Talk to your doctor or
a dietician if you need help ad-
justing your diet. For further
information go to the web-
site www.health.gov/Dietary-
Guidelines
Please direct questions and
comments to editor@rockaway-
times.com
ON SUGAR