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FDA Gives Us a Sugar Allowance


Have you ever studied the nutrition label on the back of your favorite snack food?  Did you notice that sugar never has a daily value percentage next to it?  Coincidence?  Umm, probably not.  Well that could soon change.  According to the New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration will be placing guidelines on how much sugar we should intake on a daily basis.  Cue the music:

Sugar, ohhh honey honey.  You are my candy girl, and you got me wanting you…

America’s love for sugar is so high that it’s frightening.  1 teaspoon of sugar is equivalent to 4 grams.  Let’s say that an average 12 ounce can of soda contains 32 grams of sugar.  Math was never my strong point but, it’s safe to assume that a can of soda contains 8 teaspoons of sugar.

According to the NYT article, 12.5 teaspoons of sugar a day will be the daily limit for anybody older than 3 years old.  I’m not a parent but I would imagine spoon feeding my child 12 teaspoons of sugar would have disastrous effects.  And give my child super powers that allow him / her to fly and bounce off walls.

So do we need the FDA to step in and tell us how much we should be having?  Are we not capable of making that decision on our own?  I read the label thoroughly on my dog’s food bag, why wouldn’t I do it for myself?

Let’s be honest for a moment though, will it really stop anybody from enjoying that sugar filled snack when they read the label on the side?  Starbucks lists the calories on their punch packing beverages and I still see an abundance of those controversial red cups walking down the street each day.

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The majority of my sugar intake comes from beer.  I’m well aware of this and I accepted it a long time ago.  Most beer labels do not come with nutrition facts.  I know what beer is made of and sugar plays a major role in the process.  However, it doesn’t stop me from drinking it.

Rather than giving us an “allowance” of sugar each day, maybe a better concentrated effort can be made by the FDA towards the companies pumping our foods full of sugar.  Large corporations have no concern for our future health.  Hence, why there is hidden sugar in tomato sauce, cereal, and even canned goods.  I’m an educated adult (haha!) so I take the time to learn what’s inside my food and beverages.  I’m fully aware that the majority of yogurts on the shelf are not “naturally sweetened.”  I also know that shopping anywhere outside of the produce isle is fairly risky.  I don’t need somebody to tell me how much sugar I’m allowed to have.  All I want is for my food to be free of harmful additives.  Is that too much to ask?

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Joe Granat

Joe Granat is the author and creator of the blog www.HealthLush.com. He has been featured in publications such as Thrillist, The Hudson Reporter, and Blisstree.com. In April of 2014 he was chosen by Trail Runner Magazine as the winner of their Blog Symposium competition. He currently works for the New Jersey Running Company and is the founder of the running club at local brewery, River Horse Brewing Company. For several years he has maintained a healthy lifestyle by staying fit, eating clean, and conquering new adventures. He is also a self-proclaimed expert on all things craft beer.


1 Comment

  1. Cascia Talbert November 12, 2015

    I love this, Joe! You are absolutely right. We are smarter than the government gives us credit for. We can read the labels and make our own decisions. This is sad, that the government wants to give us a sugar allowance. Thanks for bringing this issue to my attention!