pixie sticks are part of a balanced diet

Sugar industry threatens to scupper WHO

The sugar industry in the US is threatening to bring the World Health Organisation to its knees by demanding that Congress end its funding unless the WHO scraps guidelines on healthy eating, due to be published on Wednesday. The threat is being described by WHO insiders as tantamount to blackmail and worse than any pressure exerted by the tobacco lobby. [...]

The industry is furious at the guidelines, which say that sugar should account for no more than 10% of a healthy diet. It claims that the review by international experts which decided on the 10% limit is scientifically flawed, insisting that other evidence indicates that a quarter of our food and drink intake can safely consist of sugar. [...]

The Sugar Association objects to the new report having been published in draft on the WHO's website for consultation purposes, without what it considers "a broad external peer-review process". It wants a full economic analysis of the impact of the recommendations on all 192 member countries. [...]

The report, Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases, has already been heavily criticised by the soft drinks industry, whose members sell virtually everywhere in the world, including developing countries where malnutrition is beginning to coexist with the obesity common in affluent countries.

The industry does not accept the WHO report's conclusion that sweetened soft drinks contribute to the obesity pandemic. The Washington-based National Soft Drink Association said the report's "recommendation on added sugars is too restrictive".

Tags: , ,

10 Responses:

  1. mactavish says:

    I remember reading about this back in the spring, when it first came to light. I wonder what's going on with the issue now, whether WHO or the sugar industry has backed down.

  2. mcfnord says:

    10% vs. 1/4th.

    Sugar is almost every morsel of "food" you find in a quickie-mart. In the inner-city, it's what you have to eat. Sugar is a sort of ubiquitous "background" of pseudo-food one slogs through when looking for nourishment. It doesn't rot like real food. It provides "energy" like cocaine. Small children respond to sugar much as ants do.

    "Sugar: It's what's for dinner!"

  3. jwz says:

    What I love most about this article is that the sugar lobby insists that before a report on nutrition and disease is published, the economic impact must be addressed.

    Because, you know, priorities.

  4. sir5yko says:

    This isn't surprising. Not nearly as surprising at finding out that the FDA may have contributed to the "obesity pandemic" by adopting a set of dietary regulations that was funded by the national grain assosciation.

    Then again, aren't we used to the government lying to us by now?

    • transiit says:

      It's got the stink of Pop Science all over it.

      Yeah, so we've got standardized nutritional guidelines. If anyone actually believed in them, we wouldn't have people attempting litigation against McDonald's for making them obese.

      Or in the words of Dr. Atkins: "No, I don't think the lack of carbohydrates has made me light-headed and dizzy."

    • ammonoid says:

      I always wondered about that "food pyramid" thing. I mean, who actually eats that much grains *every day*. I'd be doing nothing but eating bread all day long if I actually followed it.

  5. azul_ros says:

    The industry does not accept the WHO report's conclusion that sweetened soft drinks contribute to the obesity pandemic. The Washington-based National Soft Drink Association said the report's "recommendation on added sugars is too restrictive".

    The majority of obese people I have known (only a handful) were addicted to soda. Drank 64 oz. after 64 oz. of Coke or Mtn. Dew. I hardly ever drink soda because I know it's empty calories.

  6. A 1997 study from the British Sugar Corporation found that it's safe for 139% of your diet to consist of sugar.

    It goes further to claim that, in fact, this "magic ratio" will give you super powers, make you thin, and cure all known diseases. The only disease it can't cure is THE TOTALLY AWESOME TASTE OF SUGAR, a disease for which there is no known cure!

  7. mykwud says:

    to paraphrase Hans Moleman;
    "if only this sugar were as sweet as YOU, World health Organization!"

    Man, I never knew sugar was such a huge powerful racket. We should hereforth only refer to this conglomeration of toothrot as BIG SUGAR.

    Not that there aren't enough people already making fun of the other Big Sugar on a regular basis.