Food Matters: Prompt One

What information is new to you as an eater?

Information that is fairly new to me as a consumer of snacks is that almost everything that I consume on a daily basis contains a large quantity of sugar. I have always understood that sugar is not the greatest but I paid it no mind. According to the article “Hidden in Plain Sight” by sugar science the unsweetened truth “there are at least 61 different names for sugar listed on food labels. This include common names, such as sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup, as well as barely malt, dextrose, maltose and rice syrup, among others” (Sugar Science the Unsweetened Truth, 2017, para. 3). In this case the FDA does not require manufacturers to include total added sugar just the total sugar content. According to the article men are not supposed to exceed 9 teaspoons of sugar, females are not supposed to exceed 6 teaspoons. Snacks in this case contain many servings of sugar and according to the article “The Snackification of Everything” by Akst “we gravitate toward snacks because they’re fast, easy and require little commitment” (Akst, 2017, para. 6). In reading these articles I have found that even healthy food can contain a high level of sugar content.

How concerning is this information and what might you do with it, either for yourself or someone you care about?

This information is very concerning considering I use approximately 2 teaspoons in my coffee every morning. Throughout the day I have about two cups of coffee accounting for 4 teaspoons of sugar leaving me with 5 teaspoons of sugar that I have left over. In reading this article I have found that sugar has many names not just sugar. When I walk into a store I typically walk down the snacks isle and pickup a couple of candy bars amounting to 44 grams of sugar total. Understanding the impact and staying informed will help reduce the amount of snacks and sugar consumed.

What policy decisions appear to affect people’s choices and health outcomes around your area of concern?

Currently the FDA is working on considering revising the current label design by addressing the way manufactures measure size and the amount of sugar added. Other policies and regulations that have helped with addressing the food industry is that of the Food and Drug Administration. Also According to Martinez (2013) “in the early 1990’s Congress passed the most significant piece of food labeling legislation Education Act of 1990. This legislation established lebeling regulations that require nearly all packaged products to carry the Nutrition Facts label. The regulations, which are implemented and interpreted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, also identify which voluntary HNR claims are allowed and under what circumstances they can be used” Martinez, 2013, para. 3).

If people are less well informed than you, what do you think their responses might be when you tell them about this information?

It is my belief that once people learn about the information and resources I have provided they will begin to understand that it can and will affect their health. The very food they eat can affect them. In this case it was found that even healthy food contains an unhealthy amount of sugar. Many manufactures try to confuse their consumers by using names other than sugar to confuse people that purchase their products. Many corporations pay stores a large amount of money to keep their products near the isles while people pay for their food so that temptation or even a craving can make people buy their unhealthy products.

 References

Akst, D. (2017). The Snackification of Everything. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la/oe/akst-snacks-20141221-story.html

Hidden in Plain Sight. (2017). Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/hidden-in-plain-sight/#.WW7w18aZOCS

Martinez, S. (2013). Obesity and other Health Concerns Lead Food Companies to Step up Health and Nutrient Claims. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from https://consuminghealthmatters.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/healthconcernsleadtolabelclaims.pdf

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