General Article FactCheck: is sugar really bad for you?

Topic Selected: Food and Diet
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The claim

‘It’s calories that count when it comes to weight loss, not uniquely calories from sugar.’

American Beverage Association statement

The background

Sugar is becoming the big dietary villain of our times.

We used to think it was saturated fat that made us fat. But fat consumption fell and we carried on getting more obese and unwell.

All those low-fat products on the supermarket shelves just happen to be full of added sugar.

A swelling chorus of doctors and dieticians are now warning that the white stuff is the real culprit, leading to higher rates of diabetes and other illness as well as expanding waistlines.

Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended people halve their sugar intake.

Is this just another fad that will be replaced by another dietary bogeyman, or is it really time to yank out our sweet tooth?

The analysis

The food industry is at war with a very vocal group of campaigners on the issue of whether we should restrict or tax sugary foods.


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