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Action for Healthy Food

We help communities combat today's unacceptably high rates of diabetes, obesity, and heart, liver and dental disease by reducing excessive consumption of added sugars.

Action for Healthy Food works with communities to: 

  • Inform consumers of the health impacts of added sugars and where they are found in our food and drinks

  • Support policies that help consumers avoid over-consumption of sugar and that reduce the amount of added sugars in foods and beverages

Why are we concerned about Added sugar?

 

The science linking sugar to obesity, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses is now compelling and irrefutable. Some consumers have become aware and begun to eat less, but the message has yet to reach millions of others. Seeing a chance to make progress on a once-intractable crisis, the time is ripe to get this information to residents of all cultures and walks of life and to adopt the best policies to reduce consumption.

This is why we have chosen to focus on added sugar as our first major initiative to promote food that makes us healthy and encourage less consumption of food that makes us sick. 

Over the last 30 years, Americans have suffered a stunning rise in rates of diabetes and obesity. Scientific evidence indicates that changes in our diet have played a key role. Prominent among the likely culprits is overconsumption of sugar.

Source: Crude and Age-Adjusted Rate per 100 of Civilian, Noninstitutionalized Population with Diagnosed Diabetes, United States, 1980–2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website. Updated September 5, 2014. Accessed August 5, 2015.

Source: Crude and Age-Adjusted Rate per 100 of Civilian, Noninstitutionalized Population with Diagnosed Diabetes, United States, 1980–2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website. Updated September 5, 2014. Accessed August 5, 2015.

Some Facts About Sugar

  1.  Added sugars can harm your health. People who consume 12–30 teaspoons per day, compared to those who consume less, increase their risk of dying from heart disease by nearly one third. And eating even more increases the risk nearly three-fold. On average, Americans eat 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, placing them at risk for heart problems.
  2. Sugar occurs naturally in some foods, but manufacturers add tons of extra sugar—under dozens of different names—to our food supply every day. In fact, you’ll find added sugar in 74% of packaged foods and beverages sold in supermarkets.

  3. Americans consume about 76 pounds of added sugars per person every year. Each of us, on average, ingests two-and-a-half to four times the recommended daily maximum, depending on age and gender.

  4. Soda and other sugary drinks—energy, sports and fruit drinks, and sweetened teas—account for about half (46%) of the added sugars we consume.

  5. Drinking just one to two 12-oz sodas per day can increase your risk of developing diabetes by 26%. Worldwide, more than 184,000 deaths a year can be traced to sugary drinks, a Tufts University study found.

 
Sources provided below.

Contact Us

Action for Healthy Food
1200 12th Ave. S., Suite 710
Seattle, WA 98144
P: 206-451-8186

Resources

 

  • Ng SW, Slining MM, & Popkin BM. Use of Caloric and noncaloric sweeteners in US consumer packaged foods, 2005-2009. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. June 2012;112(11):1828–1834.e6.
  • Johnson R, Appel L, et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. Sep 2009;120(11):1011-20.
  • Millen B, Lichtenstein A, et al. Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Washington DC: USDA;2015.
  • Malik, Vs, Hu, FB. Sweeteners and Risk of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: The Role of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. Current Diabetes Reports. Jan 2012;12(2):195-203.
  • Singh, GM, et al. Estimated Global, Regional, and National Disease Burdens Related to Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in 2010. (published online ahead of print June 29, 2015). Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.010636.
  • Sugar and Sweeteners (added) Table.  United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System Website. Updated September 30, 2014. Accessed August 5, 2015.
  • Yang Q, Zhang Z, Gregg EW, Flanders WD, Merritt R., Hu, FB. Added sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases mortality among US adults.  JAMA Intern Med. April 2014;174(4):516-24.