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Warning: Why sugar will be an even bigger problem in the future


Experts warn of the consequences of the lifting of regulations on the production of sugar

Sugar is generally a very widespread food, which is mostly used for sweetening drinks and food. However, eating too much sugar can lead to obesity, obesity, and various serious health problems. So far, there have usually been strict regulations for the production and sale of sugar in the EU. However, these regulations have now been lifted as the sugar market in the EU has been liberalized. Now experts fear an increasing use of cheap sugar syrup.

The German Obesity Society (DAG) and the German Diabetes Aid warn that the use of cheap sugar syrup in European foods is likely to increase significantly. This would make people eat more sugar and more likely to get overweight, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The experts of the German Obesity Society (DAG) published a press release on this important topic.

Regulations on the production and sale of sugar in the EU have been abolished

There are changes in the rules for the production and sale of sugar in the EU. So far, for example, a fixed minimum price had been set for sugar beet. A large proportion of the sugar produced in Germany comes from sugar beet. There was also a quota that regulated the entire sugar production in Germany, the researchers explain. This determined how much sugar can be produced in Germany each year. Now the minimum beet prices have been lifted and fixed production quotas have been abolished. This process should be viewed critically, the specialist societies further explain.

Will there be more high-sugar foods in Germany in the future?

If market access is improved for a product and there is generally high demand, this will further increase demand significantly. This increased demand means that there is an ever larger supply for the product, explains Stefanie Gerlach, spokeswoman for the German Obesity Society (DAG). Experts expect sugar prices to fall in the future. It could be even more lucrative for producers to sell highly sweetened drinks and confectionery. Industry spokesmen are trying to put the dreaded effects into perspective. They stated that they would not expect any major consequences from the elimination of the regulations for consumers.

Many people are already consuming too much sugar these days

It is to be expected that the food industry will increasingly use cheap so-called isoglucose in Europe. The Federal Research Institute should therefore make sure in the coming legislative period that our food will not get any sweeter in the future, say the scientists. It should also be prevented that sugar consumption continues to increase. Already today, the consumption of sugar is twice the recommended maximum intake. Such high sugar consumption leads to more cases of type 2 diabetes and obesity, warns Professor Dr. Dr. Hans-Georg Joost from the German Diabetes Aid.

Will there be a sugar-fat tax in the future?

In order to prevent this negative process, the started national strategy of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food for the reduction of the sugar consumption has to be consistently pursued and optimized, adds the expert. This is particularly true with regard to time-bound targets that should be implemented by the food industry. It would be far more efficient to introduce a sugar-fat tax.

Sugar and isoglucose can cause chronic illnesses

Sugar and isoglucose have a direct impact on the diet of EU citizens. They also have a major impact on the development of various chronic diseases. There is an urgent need to prevent an increased sugar consumption by economic interests, which takes human health into account as a kind of collateral damage. "After all, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food has a responsibility not only for the food industry, but also for consumer health protection in Germany," explains Professor Dr. med. Matthias Bl├╝her, President of the German Obesity Society (DAG) in the press release.

Strategies to reduce sugar consumption should be designed by experts

The doctors advocate that the new federal government should set up a scientific advisory board in order to include the expertise of experts on obesity and diabetes from relevant medical societies to formulate a strategy for reducing sugar consumption. The German Obesity Society also calls for the implementation of a national plan against obesity in Germany.

What is isoglucose?

Isoglucose is a cheap sugar syrup that is used in various foods. The product is used as a sweetener in lemonades, pastries and sauces, for example. Isoglucose can be identified on ingredient lists, for example under the name fructose-glucose syrup. Isoglucose is made from corn, wheat or potato starch. In the United States, isoglucose (high fructose corn syrup = HFCS) is one of the most common types of sugar. The product accounts for approximately 50 percent of the types of sugar used in America. The proportion of isoglucose in the European Union has so far been limited to 5 percent. In most cases, isoglucose consists of 55 percent fructose and another 44 percent is glucose. The experts explain that both types of sugar are present in equal amounts in normal household sugar.

How much sugar should we eat in a day?

A current report by the Max Rubner Institute states on this topic that isoglucose does not harm human health more than other sugars, provided the amounts consumed are the same. However, experts from the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) believe that in the future, the production of isoglucose will more than triple in the period from 2016 to 2025. This is also likely to lead to an increased intake of isoglucose in humans. The WHO recommends that people should consume a maximum of 50 grams (or a maximum of 10 percent of the total energy intake) of added sugar including syrup and honey per day. (as)

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