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‘5 percent reduction of sugars in the supermarkets gives false hope’

Doctor and author Staff Henderickx reacts to the news that supermarkets in our country last year, 363 tons of sugar from the food products of their own brands. ‘The appointment that Maggie De Block toejuichte, it seems fantastic, but will not solve this problem.’

Large supermarkets brought in our country last year, 363 tons of sugar from the food products of their own brands. © istock

An agreement between the food industry, the distribution sector and the ministry of Health stipulated that in 2017, about 5 percent less sugar in the diet would be processed. An evaluation report is not yet finished, but the three largest supermarkets reported that, in total, 363 tons of sugar less in their in-house brands. Also have the chains 170 tons less fat and 82 tonnes less salt is used.

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5 percent reduction of sugars in the supermarkets gives false hope

Minister of Health Maggie De Block responded enthusiastically and signed a new, similar statement of principles. Of course, each step that the health benefit is commendable. But is this a step forward or a drop of water on a hot plate? We put everything on a row.

Why is there so much sugar produced?

In 2017, the total production of sugar of 185 million tons, accounting for a market value of 70 billion euro. Since the 1960’s that production more than doubled. The last years, the world production increasing over-production which leads to increasing inventories and falling prices. That low prices make the food generous and can accommodate the adding of sugars.

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Since 1960, world production of sugar has more than doubled.

In addition, the price of sugar in the European Union is partly determined by the heavy subsidisation of the private sugar production. An oligopoly of a handful of European sugar producers makes it’s record profits thanks to a system of artificial scarcity, agricultural subsidies and import levies. The European production has now reached such a careless 20 million tonnes, with a production of 3.6 million tonnes or 22 per cent in comparison with the prior year.

Sugar © iStock

How much sugar do we eat?

Best we restrict our suikerinname to less than 10 percent of our daily caloriebehoefte. The World health organization (WHO) suggested recently the maximum amount of even more, namely a maximum of 25 grams of sugar per day, four times less than the daily average consumption of the Belgian.

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The consumption of 100 grams of sugar per day corresponds to the seventeenth of sugar per day.

That consumption of 100 grams of sugar per day corresponds to the seventeenth of sugar per day, or to 36.5 kg per year. The WHO sets the bar very low if you know that a can of cola has 35 grams of sugar it contains. A tablespoon of ketchup contains four grams of sugar. Of the 60,000 foods in an American supermarket contains 80 percent sugar.

And who, like Americans, on average 126,4 grams of sugar per day as it consumes, runs a nearly three times higher risk of heart disease. In an article In the scientific journal Nature estimates paediatrician and endocrinologist, Lustig that exaggerated suikerverbruik worldwide is responsible for 35 million deaths per year. Sugar also works addictive.

In Belgium suffers 48 percent of the adult population is overweight and 13 percent obese. One in five Flemish young people are overweight and that trend is increasing.

No half measures

The appointment (on a voluntary basis) that Maggie De Block toejuichte, it seems fantastic, but will not solve this problem. For the average consumption of the Belgian, this means that he or she is not 100 grams to 95 grams of sugar per day will consume.

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Especially, the beverage industry saw in artificial sweeteners without calories a mirakelmiddel.

If the supermarkets then declare that there is massively less sugar in their house brand, then it says that something about the huge amount of sugar still in it. The food industry is already longer looking for all kinds of sugar substitutes so that they have the word ‘sugar’ on the label may omit.

Especially, the beverage industry saw in artificial sweeteners without calories a mirakelmiddel. A whole collection appeared on the market. Aspartame: 200 times sweeter than sugar; sucrose is 600 times sweeter; neotaam: 1000 times sweeter, or even advantaam: 37.000 times (!) sweeter than sugar. Extensive research brought to light that these sweeteners lead to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

A possible explanation is that the sweetener the beloningsmechanisme insufficient is activated, so that the addicted person goes in search of other calories. May disrupt sweeteners the hormones leptin and ghreline, a hormone that our appetite at the time of braking.

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There is not at the core of the problem hit.

In short, this appointment does not touch the core of the problem, namely that we should abandon the consumption of soft drinks, snacks, ready meals and all the other unhealthy processed food. That 5 percent reduction of sugars gives false hope and sends us huddled together in the reeds.

The removal of all soda and candy machines in the schools and the introduction of the Finnish schoolmodel with a healthy hot meal would be an enormously greater impact on the rising’s obesity epidemic among youth. Learned young is done old.

Sweets © iStock

A policy of at the same time, cold and hot blowing

Smoking, alcohol, gambling, high suikergehaltes, fat and salt … With small ingreepjes help you that addictions never the world. 1.6 billion people are overweight with diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and other diseases as a result. 771 million people are malnourished and dying every day 15,000 people dying of starvation, while there is enough food is to the 7.4 billion people on earth to feed.

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Grab the problem at its root instead of some pruning work to be performed without much impact.

Both hungry if obesity is an economic and political problem, not technical. But as long as speculative gains on grondstofbeurzen and in the food industry and distribution proliferate, there is little hope. Healthy and adequate food are human needs and political and economic priorities lie.

Social progress is the progress of the society and not of some super-rich that agriculture and food to organize for their own wallet. ‘No food change without system change’, I would with the Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein’s no dare.

There is the political courage: the problem at the roots, and not what is pruning carried out without much impact.

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