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The true cost of sugar is more than its price | Letters

04/10/2017 Letters 0

Alison Tedstone of Public Health England says that the food industry must put any savings made from the falling price of sugar into research against its damaging effects on health. Michael Tribe says we must consider the impact of sugar prices on developing countries

In response to your article (Beet that: sugar prices set to fall as EU quotas abolished, 29 September), whether sugar costs pennies or pounds, the food industry knows the government target – 20% – on how much of it they need to reduce from their products by 2020. We are monitoring industry progress against these targets and will report on it in spring. The fact remains that children eat too much sugar and it causes weight gain, which can lead to bullying, low self-esteem and tooth decay. Excess weight in childhood also increases the risk of becoming an overweight or obese adult, which will increase the likelihood of developing a range of cancers, heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. If the food industry is about to save money on sugar, it will hopefully make more resource available for research into innovative ways to make products healthier.
Dr Alison Tedstone
Chief nutritionist, Public Health England

• The article by Richard Partington is remarkable in discussing the implications of EU sugar production and pricing policy for the UK and EU economies, but completely fails to mention the implications for world sugar trade and particularly for the potential impact on lower-income countries. There was space in the print version of the Guardian for a large photograph of a pile of sugar, but no space for any reference to the role of the sugar trade on the welfare of developing countries. This, of course, is consistent with the EU switch of major responsibility for policy relating to developing countries’ trade matters from the directorate of development to the directorate of trade. Perhaps we can look forward to another article in the near future which deals with the wider implications of changes in EU policy on the sugar market for global trade and development issues?
Michael Tribe

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Diabetes: Adding lifestyle changes to medication can deliver a knockout punch

Plenty of research supports the common-sense notion that a healthy lifestyle can prevent or treat many diseases. A diet high in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and plant protein and low in processed carbs, added sugars, saturated fats; regular physical activity; and emotional well-being are the potent treatments that can prevent the need for or even […]

The post Diabetes: Adding lifestyle changes to medication can deliver a knockout punch appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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Why does obesity cause diabetes? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Thomas Barber

27/09/2017 Thomas Barber 0

Every day millions of internet users ask Google life’s most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries

‘Cause” is a strong word. It means that A results in B happening. Causality is also surprisingly difficult to prove. Most medical studies only show association between A and B, while causality often remains speculative and frustratingly elusive. Obesity and diabetes are no exception.

There are many types of diabetes. All are unified by elevated levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes accounts for less than 10% of cases and results from autoimmune destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas, which produce and release insulin. (In an autoimmune process, antibodies that normally target and fight infection instead target one’s own cells). Type 3c (secondary) diabetes can occur when there has been destruction of the pancreatic beta cells through some other process, such as excessive alcohol, inflammation or surgical resection.

Related: Thank you, Diane Abbott, for speaking out about your diabetes | Ann Robinson

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Artificial sweeteners raise risk of type 2 diabetes, study suggests

Research shows sugar substitutes may affect body’s ability to control glucose levels, but its conclusions are contested

Artificial sweeteners, which many people with weight issues use as a substitute for sugar, may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research.

The study was small and the detailed results have not yet been published, but experts said its findings fitted with previous research showing an association between artificial sweeteners and weight gain.

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