When more than 13% of our daily calorie intake is from added sugars, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation is rightfully concerned about our love of the “sweet stuff.”
Our sugar-high diet has serious health consequences, as excess sugar consumption is linked to heart disease,stroke,obesity,diabetes,high blood cholesterol, cancer and cavities.
How can your community encourage healthy choices?
Here are 4 recommendations based on the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s new position statement on sugar consumption:
1. Consider using healthy foods and beverages or non-food alternatives for fundraising efforts and events.
2. Limit the consumption of sugar-loaded beverages through a variety of policies including restricting the portion size to 16 ounces (500 mL) in food service outlets and banning sugar-loaded beverages in public facilities such as recreation centres, hospitals, and schools.
3. Ensure potable drinking water (in fountains and/or coolers) are accessible to children and adults in commonly used places including parks, public facilities, schools, recreation centres, and workplaces as an alternative to sugary beverages.
4. Support community programs and initiatives that can potentially improve access to healthy food including community gardens, community kitchens, local food distribution networks, community supported agriculture, school meal programs, etc.
You can also visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation's website for more tips on how to eat well.
If you really want to know the full effects of excessive sugar consumption on your health and wellbeing, watch Fed Up (2014). This powerful documentary about sugar's connection to the obesity epidemic will rock your world and your waistline.