Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cut Down On Soft Drinks And Beverages

image by cema, sxc.hu

Reduce Exposure To Health Vulnerabilities

Why are you consuming so much sugar? Why has your sugar consumption been increasing all of a sudden these past few years? You know very well that excess sugar is not good for health. Despite this knowledge, the world has been gulping down sugar like there is no tomorrow.

image by nosheep, sxc.hu

Actually, while we may be quite conscious and do not consume sugar directly, the extra sugar consumption has been happening surreptitiously in the form of "added sugars" introduced by vendors in soft drinks, fruit drinks, desserts, sugars and jellies, candy, ready-to-eat cereals and the like, in the name of enhancing the taste and quality of their products. This jump in sugar-intake gets stored in some energy form or the other in the body. If this is not enough, add yummy foods such as salty snacks, pizza, fries and cheeseburgers - make you salivate internally, don't they? - that supplement our sugary liquids. Ideally, the excess energy must be burnt by way of physical exercise. However, while data shows that over the past 30 years, our total calorie intake has risen by anywhere between 150 and 300 calories per day, we have also tended to become more lethargic, more sedentary and less physically active. We have also decreased our intake of fruits and vegetables, whatever fruit and vegetable we get is by nibbling the toppings that the chefs in our favorite restaurant and fast-food joint sprinkle on our favorite dish. We do not any health expert to tell us the consequence of all this. The consequence of our actions is self-evident when we see ourselves in the mirror - no, the lards don't hide themselves and they also don't lie.

image by tuareq, sxc.hu

There is now concrete, numeric data available that correlates increased sugar consumption, decreased fruit consumption and sedentary lifestyle with obesity. For example, a survey of 548 school kids from four communities in Massachusetts in the US showed that for every additional can of sugar-sweetened drink consumed, the kids registered a proportionate increase in BMI, with their lifestyle remaining unchanged during the period of survey. When cola companies came out with bigger-sized cans for their beverage, and unleashed a campaign blitzkrieg that bullied our minds into buying those jumbo cans, they unintentionally made us more vulnerable to health complications, of which obesity is just one manifestation. Examples of even more exotic conditions that lurk round the corner just waiting to pounce - if they haven't done so already - include hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes... and this list is only just begun.

image by hisks, sxc.hu

The message from the health research community has been unequivocal: cut down your intake of soft drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages. This will, they say, also cut down the excess calories that you are tempted to get the beverages to wash down by way of ordering those fast foods. This one act will do wonders for your health, they assure.

image by mexikids, sxc.hu

True to nature, alarmed by the statement issued by the health research community, the American Beverage Association has come out with a press release that gives their side of the story. Which is understandable, of course - they are in damage control mode, the annual general meeting of next year where they have to present their financial statements to the stakeholders must loom uppermost. For you and me, at the end of the day, it is a matter of achieving a balance between indulging in one's senses and a Spartan but healthy living style.

image by ctr, sxc.hu

[Understanding the consequence of high sugar intake on physical health is a must. Even more important - indeed, all-encompassingly-important - is understanding the consequence of holding the correct thoughts in our mind at all times. What is the connection between thoughts and health? Read about it here: "Well-being And The Science Of Matter-Energy Continuum".]

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this thorough post about sugar intake and the consequences of too much sugar. It was really educational.