No! Have We REALLY All Cut Back on Sugar?

Could it possibly be?  Our kids are eating less sugar today than 15 years ago?  A new study says just that.

According to a story by Bruce Horovitz at USA Today, "Kids drank fruit juices 16 fewer times than in 1998."  And the decline is accelerating.

You know all those commercials where they tell you the drinks are mostly fruit?  What they don't say is that the rest of it is all sugar. (Read the back of a container some time.)  I love how they're now trying to promote these juices as healthier than soda!

"The typical child ate or drank the 20 most common sugary sweets an average 126 times fewer last year than in 1998, reports NPD," including 62 fewer times imbibing carbonated soft drinks and 22 fewer times eating pre-sweetened cereals, Horovitz writes.

Are our kids actually turning away from Cocoa Puffs?  (And am I dating myself?!)

But apparently, at least in some segments of the food market, our kids are eating less sugary items.  I don't know how you square that with the rising obesity rates (43% of NYC children alone are overweight).  Horovitz reports that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The percentage of children ages 6 to 11 in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents ages 12 to 19 who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period," he notes.

So how does this all add up?  Here's the deal.  Experts worry that we're all eating less sugar -- and replacing it with salty, fatty foods instead.

But experts still agree the eating of sweets is going down.  The decline is "quite significant," Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has battled the big food and beverage makers for decades, tells Horovitz. However, just as suspected, many folks are replacing sweet treats "with salty, fatty, made-with-white-flour snacks like pizza or cheeseburgers."

Adults' consumption of sugary foods has also declined,

Experts predict that 15 years from now, "these sugary-treat-consumption numbers will plummet even more in the U.S. as it becomes normal for schools to ban junk food and for the government to tax sugary soft drinks," Horovittz quotes  Kelly Brownell, professor of psychology and public health at Yale University. "But once these companies have squeezed every ounce they can out of America, they'll turn their attention to the developing world and sell their worst products there."


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