Sugar isn’t sweet for healthy lifestyles, say Hamilton public officials

News Apr 03, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Some Canadians are drinking themselves into the hospital, health experts are saying.

Reports and studies continue to reveal there are rising levels of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes among youths and adults and sugary drinks are among many foods and beverages that health policy officials are targeting as contributing to the problem.

For instance, in 2015 Canadians purchased a daily average of 444 millilitres of sugary drinks per capita, including 100 per cent fruit juice, according to Euromonitor, a market research company.

That equals one can of pop per person, per day, every day, researchers stated. The average youth, from age nine to 18, drinks 578 mL of sugary drinks a day, which can contain up to 64 grams (16 teaspoons) of sugar, well over the recommended daily sugar maximum of 10 teaspoons (40 grams) of free sugar each day, stated Health Canada.

While soft drinks have declined in sales over the last 12 years, people, especially youths are purchasing more energy drinks, flavoured waters, sweetened coffees and flavoured products all with high concentrations of sugar.

Health Canada officials predict over the next 25 years sugary drink consumption will be responsible for obesity in more than three million Canadians, almost a million cases of Type 2 diabetes; 300,000 people with ischemic heart disease and 100,000 cases of cancer, according to a study commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society in association with the Hearth and Stroke Foundation.

Dr. Sonia Anand, a professor of medicine and epidemiology, said recently during a presentation to Hamilton’s Board of Health, sugary drinks will contribute to 63,000 deaths in Canada and $50.7 billion in direct health care costs within 25 years.

“These (sugary drinks) are liquid candy,” she said.

Anand said there are measures that the city should consider to protect its children, such as promoting the drinking of water and milk, since there are no calories in them.

A few people, including Mountain Coun. Tom Jackson, acknowledged they avoid pop and drink fruit juice believing it is a healthier option. But Anand said a 250 mL container of orange or apple juice contains six teaspoons of sugar. One apple contains 4 teaspoons of sugar, while an orange contains just over two teaspoons of sugar. But what the fresh fruit has that the juice doesn’t is fibre which is important for a healthy body, she said.

And even though the corporate marketing trumpets the benefits of sports drinks to recover from physical activity, a 250 mL container has four teaspoons of sugar. Anand said an athlete in need of hydration should just drink water and will benefit more than drinking a sports drink.

A flavoured caffeine-free energy drink has over seven teaspoons of sugar, while even one per cent chocolate milk has seven teaspoons of sugar.

In addition, said Anand communities should consider putting pressure on companies to end free refills on large drink containers, cap drink sizes and restrict beverage companies’ ability to market directly to children.

Joe Belfontaine, executive director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, said what’s needed in Canada is a “grassroots” approach to restricting sugary drinking. He said it can be done after successful past campaigns.

 Through government and health care promotions, smoking was curtailed and eliminated in restaurants and other areas, trans-fats and salt have also been reduced because of public pressure, he said.

“There is a need for a strong grassroots support to change (people’s choices) and help educate citizens and get them engaged,” he said.

Anand even suggested that governments should institute a sugary drink tax, an idea that was adopted in Philadelphia starting in January that added a penny and a half per-ounce charge on sodas, diet sodas, juices and other sweetened beverages for distributors. The impact is 18 cents on a 12-ounce can of soda or $1.44 on a six pack of 16-ounce bottles. Boulder, Colo., and three California cities, Albany, Oakland and San Francisco,  have also approved soda taxes.

But the Canadian Beverage Association, in response to a report released last month The Health and Economic Impacts of a Sugary Drinks Tax from the University of Waterloo, stated “Fiscal interventions like consumption taxes have not proven to be successful in terms of obesity reduction. What works are real, meaningful, co-ordinated efforts government, industry and health care and consumer stakeholders to implement evidence-based solutions.”

The associated stated that beverage companies have a target to cut beverage calories by 20 per cent by 2025. It stated that Canadians have managed to reduce their consumption to 141 calories from liquid refreshment beverage, under the 10 per cent of daily calorie recommendation.

Even though Ontario municipalities don’t have the authority to establish a tax on beverages, the tax idea caused concern for some members of Hamilton council.

Instead, Hamilton has been urging its residents, especially youths, to avoid sugary drinks since last year with an education program. With about $1.1 million in funding from the provincial government the city initiated its Water Does Wonders campaign last year to promote healthy eating, physical activity and improved lifestyle choices in children under the age of 12. The city will be initiating the Healthy Kids Community Challenge over the next three years in wards 6, 7 and 8. The challenge includes engaging the community with events, at recreation centres, schools and neighbourhood associations about sugary drinks; assist recreation centres and schools to buy and install hydration stations; encourage student-led campaigns that promote drinking water instead of sugary drinks and promote educational material.

City health officials say research has shown that if children start drinking water at an early age they will continue to drink it later in life. Beverages account for almost one half of a child’s sugar intake every day.

Sugar isn’t sweet for healthy lifestyles, say Hamilton public officials

News Apr 03, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Some Canadians are drinking themselves into the hospital, health experts are saying.

Reports and studies continue to reveal there are rising levels of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes among youths and adults and sugary drinks are among many foods and beverages that health policy officials are targeting as contributing to the problem.

For instance, in 2015 Canadians purchased a daily average of 444 millilitres of sugary drinks per capita, including 100 per cent fruit juice, according to Euromonitor, a market research company.

That equals one can of pop per person, per day, every day, researchers stated. The average youth, from age nine to 18, drinks 578 mL of sugary drinks a day, which can contain up to 64 grams (16 teaspoons) of sugar, well over the recommended daily sugar maximum of 10 teaspoons (40 grams) of free sugar each day, stated Health Canada.

While soft drinks have declined in sales over the last 12 years, people, especially youths are purchasing more energy drinks, flavoured waters, sweetened coffees and flavoured products all with high concentrations of sugar.

Health Canada officials predict over the next 25 years sugary drink consumption will be responsible for obesity in more than three million Canadians, almost a million cases of Type 2 diabetes; 300,000 people with ischemic heart disease and 100,000 cases of cancer, according to a study commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society in association with the Hearth and Stroke Foundation.

Dr. Sonia Anand, a professor of medicine and epidemiology, said recently during a presentation to Hamilton’s Board of Health, sugary drinks will contribute to 63,000 deaths in Canada and $50.7 billion in direct health care costs within 25 years.

“These (sugary drinks) are liquid candy,” she said.

Anand said there are measures that the city should consider to protect its children, such as promoting the drinking of water and milk, since there are no calories in them.

A few people, including Mountain Coun. Tom Jackson, acknowledged they avoid pop and drink fruit juice believing it is a healthier option. But Anand said a 250 mL container of orange or apple juice contains six teaspoons of sugar. One apple contains 4 teaspoons of sugar, while an orange contains just over two teaspoons of sugar. But what the fresh fruit has that the juice doesn’t is fibre which is important for a healthy body, she said.

And even though the corporate marketing trumpets the benefits of sports drinks to recover from physical activity, a 250 mL container has four teaspoons of sugar. Anand said an athlete in need of hydration should just drink water and will benefit more than drinking a sports drink.

A flavoured caffeine-free energy drink has over seven teaspoons of sugar, while even one per cent chocolate milk has seven teaspoons of sugar.

In addition, said Anand communities should consider putting pressure on companies to end free refills on large drink containers, cap drink sizes and restrict beverage companies’ ability to market directly to children.

Joe Belfontaine, executive director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, said what’s needed in Canada is a “grassroots” approach to restricting sugary drinking. He said it can be done after successful past campaigns.

 Through government and health care promotions, smoking was curtailed and eliminated in restaurants and other areas, trans-fats and salt have also been reduced because of public pressure, he said.

“There is a need for a strong grassroots support to change (people’s choices) and help educate citizens and get them engaged,” he said.

Anand even suggested that governments should institute a sugary drink tax, an idea that was adopted in Philadelphia starting in January that added a penny and a half per-ounce charge on sodas, diet sodas, juices and other sweetened beverages for distributors. The impact is 18 cents on a 12-ounce can of soda or $1.44 on a six pack of 16-ounce bottles. Boulder, Colo., and three California cities, Albany, Oakland and San Francisco,  have also approved soda taxes.

But the Canadian Beverage Association, in response to a report released last month The Health and Economic Impacts of a Sugary Drinks Tax from the University of Waterloo, stated “Fiscal interventions like consumption taxes have not proven to be successful in terms of obesity reduction. What works are real, meaningful, co-ordinated efforts government, industry and health care and consumer stakeholders to implement evidence-based solutions.”

The associated stated that beverage companies have a target to cut beverage calories by 20 per cent by 2025. It stated that Canadians have managed to reduce their consumption to 141 calories from liquid refreshment beverage, under the 10 per cent of daily calorie recommendation.

Even though Ontario municipalities don’t have the authority to establish a tax on beverages, the tax idea caused concern for some members of Hamilton council.

Instead, Hamilton has been urging its residents, especially youths, to avoid sugary drinks since last year with an education program. With about $1.1 million in funding from the provincial government the city initiated its Water Does Wonders campaign last year to promote healthy eating, physical activity and improved lifestyle choices in children under the age of 12. The city will be initiating the Healthy Kids Community Challenge over the next three years in wards 6, 7 and 8. The challenge includes engaging the community with events, at recreation centres, schools and neighbourhood associations about sugary drinks; assist recreation centres and schools to buy and install hydration stations; encourage student-led campaigns that promote drinking water instead of sugary drinks and promote educational material.

City health officials say research has shown that if children start drinking water at an early age they will continue to drink it later in life. Beverages account for almost one half of a child’s sugar intake every day.

Sugar isn’t sweet for healthy lifestyles, say Hamilton public officials

News Apr 03, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Some Canadians are drinking themselves into the hospital, health experts are saying.

Reports and studies continue to reveal there are rising levels of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes among youths and adults and sugary drinks are among many foods and beverages that health policy officials are targeting as contributing to the problem.

For instance, in 2015 Canadians purchased a daily average of 444 millilitres of sugary drinks per capita, including 100 per cent fruit juice, according to Euromonitor, a market research company.

That equals one can of pop per person, per day, every day, researchers stated. The average youth, from age nine to 18, drinks 578 mL of sugary drinks a day, which can contain up to 64 grams (16 teaspoons) of sugar, well over the recommended daily sugar maximum of 10 teaspoons (40 grams) of free sugar each day, stated Health Canada.

While soft drinks have declined in sales over the last 12 years, people, especially youths are purchasing more energy drinks, flavoured waters, sweetened coffees and flavoured products all with high concentrations of sugar.

Health Canada officials predict over the next 25 years sugary drink consumption will be responsible for obesity in more than three million Canadians, almost a million cases of Type 2 diabetes; 300,000 people with ischemic heart disease and 100,000 cases of cancer, according to a study commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society in association with the Hearth and Stroke Foundation.

Dr. Sonia Anand, a professor of medicine and epidemiology, said recently during a presentation to Hamilton’s Board of Health, sugary drinks will contribute to 63,000 deaths in Canada and $50.7 billion in direct health care costs within 25 years.

“These (sugary drinks) are liquid candy,” she said.

Anand said there are measures that the city should consider to protect its children, such as promoting the drinking of water and milk, since there are no calories in them.

A few people, including Mountain Coun. Tom Jackson, acknowledged they avoid pop and drink fruit juice believing it is a healthier option. But Anand said a 250 mL container of orange or apple juice contains six teaspoons of sugar. One apple contains 4 teaspoons of sugar, while an orange contains just over two teaspoons of sugar. But what the fresh fruit has that the juice doesn’t is fibre which is important for a healthy body, she said.

And even though the corporate marketing trumpets the benefits of sports drinks to recover from physical activity, a 250 mL container has four teaspoons of sugar. Anand said an athlete in need of hydration should just drink water and will benefit more than drinking a sports drink.

A flavoured caffeine-free energy drink has over seven teaspoons of sugar, while even one per cent chocolate milk has seven teaspoons of sugar.

In addition, said Anand communities should consider putting pressure on companies to end free refills on large drink containers, cap drink sizes and restrict beverage companies’ ability to market directly to children.

Joe Belfontaine, executive director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, said what’s needed in Canada is a “grassroots” approach to restricting sugary drinking. He said it can be done after successful past campaigns.

 Through government and health care promotions, smoking was curtailed and eliminated in restaurants and other areas, trans-fats and salt have also been reduced because of public pressure, he said.

“There is a need for a strong grassroots support to change (people’s choices) and help educate citizens and get them engaged,” he said.

Anand even suggested that governments should institute a sugary drink tax, an idea that was adopted in Philadelphia starting in January that added a penny and a half per-ounce charge on sodas, diet sodas, juices and other sweetened beverages for distributors. The impact is 18 cents on a 12-ounce can of soda or $1.44 on a six pack of 16-ounce bottles. Boulder, Colo., and three California cities, Albany, Oakland and San Francisco,  have also approved soda taxes.

But the Canadian Beverage Association, in response to a report released last month The Health and Economic Impacts of a Sugary Drinks Tax from the University of Waterloo, stated “Fiscal interventions like consumption taxes have not proven to be successful in terms of obesity reduction. What works are real, meaningful, co-ordinated efforts government, industry and health care and consumer stakeholders to implement evidence-based solutions.”

The associated stated that beverage companies have a target to cut beverage calories by 20 per cent by 2025. It stated that Canadians have managed to reduce their consumption to 141 calories from liquid refreshment beverage, under the 10 per cent of daily calorie recommendation.

Even though Ontario municipalities don’t have the authority to establish a tax on beverages, the tax idea caused concern for some members of Hamilton council.

Instead, Hamilton has been urging its residents, especially youths, to avoid sugary drinks since last year with an education program. With about $1.1 million in funding from the provincial government the city initiated its Water Does Wonders campaign last year to promote healthy eating, physical activity and improved lifestyle choices in children under the age of 12. The city will be initiating the Healthy Kids Community Challenge over the next three years in wards 6, 7 and 8. The challenge includes engaging the community with events, at recreation centres, schools and neighbourhood associations about sugary drinks; assist recreation centres and schools to buy and install hydration stations; encourage student-led campaigns that promote drinking water instead of sugary drinks and promote educational material.

City health officials say research has shown that if children start drinking water at an early age they will continue to drink it later in life. Beverages account for almost one half of a child’s sugar intake every day.