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Sugar is pretty much ruining the world - here's how and why

A new study from a Swiss bank lays bare the facts.
Jun 29th 2014, 10:30 AM 28,710 74

A NEW STUDY from Swiss bank Credit Suisse exposes the “dietary impact of ‘sugar and sweeteners’ and their role in the ongoing health debate surrounding obesity and diabetes”.

The accompanying video — “Sugar: Sweet With a Bitter Aftertaste” — visualizes the sorry state of sugar consumption.

The harrowing effect of sugar consumption on American waistlines isn’t necessarily new news, but Credit Suisse does an excellent job of breaking down just how out of control it has gotten (especially in the U.S., where they had to literally adjust the y-axis of one of their charts so that U.S. soda consumption could be mapped).

We grabbed some screenshots from Credit Suisse’s video to break it down.

400 million people worldwide are affected by Type 2 Diabetes.

01 1 400-million-people-worldwide-are-affected-by-type-2-diabetes

4.8 million die of the chronic disease every year.

02 48-million-die-of-the-chronic-disease-every-year

Costs to the global health care system: €345 billion, representing over 10% of all health care costs.

03 costs-to-the-global-health-care-system-470-billion-representing-over-10-of-all-health-care-costs

By 2020, the number of people affected could be more like 500 million, with costs at €510 billion.

04 by-2020-the-number-of-people-affected-could-be-more-like-500-million-with-costs-at-700-billion

Sugar consumption started to change in the 1970s and ’80s, when health concerns centered around rising heart conditions.

05 sugar-consumption-started-to-change-in-the-1970s-and-80s-when-health-concerns-centered-around-rising-heart-conditions

The blame was placed on fat.

06 the-blame-was-placed-on-fat

So we pumped everything with sugar to keep things tasting good.

07 so-we-pumped-everything-with-sugar-to-keep-things-tasting-good

Now almost anything you find in the supermarket is jam-packed with sugar.

08 now-almost-anything-you-find-in-the-supermarket-is-jam-packed-with-sugar

And it makes up 17% of our diet.

09 and-it-makes-up-17-of-our-diet

So is this a problem?

10 so-is-this-a-problem

Today, the world daily average consumption of added sugar per person is 17 teaspoons.

11 today-the-world-daily-average-consumption-of-added-sugar-per-person-is-17-teaspoons

That’s 45% higher than 30 years ago.

12 thats-45-higher-than-30-years-ago

The American Heart Association recommends 6 for women and 9 for men.

13 the-american-heart-association-recommends-6-for-women-and-9-for-men

The US ranks #1 in consuming sugar and caloric sweetener…

14 the-us-ranks-1-in-consuming-sugar-and-caloric-sweetener-usa-usa-usa

… with an average of 40 teaspoons per person per day.

15 with-an-average-of-40-teaspoons-per-person-per-day

This is a problem for the future. The United States ranks second in the world for childhood obesity rates at 35%. In Ireland, it’s around 20%.

16 this-is-a-problem-for-the-future-the-us-ranks-2-in-childhood-obesity

The US also has a high prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes.

17 and-has-a-high-prevalence-of-type-2-diabetes

Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Australia are close behind the US, with an average of 35-38 teaspoons per person per day.

18 brazil-argentina-mexico-and-australia-are-close-behind-the-us-with-an-average-of-35-38-teaspoons-per-person-per-day

Around 43% of added sugar in our diets come from sweetened beverages.

19 around-43-of-added-sugar-in-our-diets-come-from-sweetened-beverages

Type 2 Diabetes is linked with full-calorie sodas. Just one can of soda is about 8 teaspoons of sugar.

20 type-2-diabetes-is-linked-with-full-calorie-sodas-just-one-can-of-soda-is-about-8-teaspoons-of-sugar

We digest soda quickly and easily without feeling full. Of course, genetics also has to do with how each person interacts with sugar.

21 we-digest-soda-quickly-and-easily-without-feeling-full-of-course-genetics-also-has-to-do-with-how-each-person-interacts-with-sugar

The good news is that there has been a public perception shift.

22 the-good-news-is-that-there-has-been-a-public-perception-shift

But knowledge here is highly based on where you live, income, and level of education.

23 but-knowledge-here-is-highly-based-on-where-you-live-income-and-level-of-education

Governments can’t ignore the socioeconomic impact of sugar consumption. Credit Suisse believes taxation is an option to fund growing health costs and reducing sugar intake.

24 governments-cant-ignore-the-socioeconomic-impact-of-sugar-consumption-credit-suisse-believes-taxation-is-an-option-to-fund-growing-health-costs-and-reducing-sugar-intake

As Big Tobacco learned, taxation is effective. And as the sugar epidemic becomes more visible, you may even see something like this down the road.

25 as-big-tobacco-learned-taxation-is-effective-and-as-the-sugar-epidemic-becomes-more-visible-you-may-even-see-something-like-this-down-the-road Source: Credit Suisse

Here’s the full video.

Source: Credit Suisse/YouTube

- Steven Perlberg

Read: Drinking two glasses of fruit juice a day is actually pretty bad for you >

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