You may have noticed this week that Sugar is hitting the headlines. The government has just announced a tax hike on sugary soft drinks in order to deter people from buying them. The funds raised from the tax will go to Primary School Physical Education for young people. Regardless of your thoughts as to the feasibility of this exercise, you cant help but wonder, why is the government so keen to address this issue? Just how bad is sugar for your health. Here we look at some of the research which has led to this action…
Sugary drinks contain two types of Molecules; Fructose and Glucose. Glucose is fine, every cell in the human body can digest it and turn it into energy (which then must be burnt off) whereas Fructose can only be digested by the Liver. Too much Fructose and the Liver starts to turn it straight into fat and deposit it around the body, in particularly on your stomach. It’s the only way it can deal with it. Sugary drinks are one of the easiest ways to take in large amounts of Fructose easily.
It is no surprise that Sugary Soft Drinks are linked to Type 2 Diabetes. Elevated blood sugar levels lead to insulin resistance or a deficiency in insulin. One study even suggests that as little as one, full sugar, fizzy drink per day can lead to a drastic increase in likelihood of contracting type 2 diabetes.
Since the 60’s and 70’s it has been acknowledged that sugar intake effects the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. One study revealed that those who drank one can of fizzy drink a day increased there risk of Heart Disease by 20%.
Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease all increase the likelihood of cancer in an individual. A study of over 60,000 men and women revealed that those who drank two or more cans of soft drinks a week were 87% more likely to be diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.
They are addictive!
Sugary drinks are addictive, people crave them due to contents like caffeine and other stimulants that leave you wanting more! The result is that we are in a cycle where people habitually drink soft drinks. The government tax scheme is aimed at making people question that decision, or seemingly, putting pressure on soft drink companies to levy the amount of sugar in drinks and make them more nutritious.
So you can see, the new tax introduced by the UK government is there to address a big issue, and it doesn’t stop there. Other factors such as dental health, dementia and behavioral changes are also linked to sugar consumption. The bottom line for us gym goers is that there is little nutritional value in any soft drinks, just high sugar content and the risks that come with it!
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