sugar workplace wellness

It’s Halloween: Time to Discuss Sugar Again

With the ubiquitous candy dishes filled with chocolates, candy corn, and more, we don’t mean to be party poopers. But October 31 offers our annual reminder: Avoid too much sugar.

Here’s some guidance:

  • Sugar 101 from the American Heart Association: “The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance. For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men).”
  • A study in Nature titled Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study concluded: “Our research confirms an adverse effect of sugar intake from sweet food/beverage on long-term psychological health and suggests that lower intake of sugar may be associated with better psychological health.”
  • Here we explained how monitoring sugar intake is another ‘Healthy Heart’ activity at work.
  • JAMA published the study “Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults” in 2014: Most US adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet. We observed a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk for CVD (Cardiovascular Disease) mortality.
  • The Harvard Health Letter picked up on the JAMA piece: “Eating too much added sugar increases the risk of dying with heart disease.”
  • A study in Sleep Health, titled Short and sweet: Associations between self-reported sleep duration and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among adults in the United States, concludes that “Short sleep is associated with greater intake of sugared caffeinated sodas, a relationship that may have important, though unrecognized, implications for physical health.”
  • The New York Times recently wrote “Is Sugar Really Bad for You? It Depends,” and addressed the question “How much sugar is too much?” NYT reported “One of the largest studies of added sugar consumption, which was led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that adults who got more than 15 percent of their daily calories from added sugar had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. For the average adult, that translates to about 300 calories, or 18 teaspoons of added sugar, daily. That may sound like a lot, but it’s actually quite easy to take in that much, or even more, without realizing it. A single 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola, for example, has almost 10 teaspoons of sugar; it can add up quickly. The study found that most adults got more than 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugar, and that for 10 percent of people, more than 25 percent of their calories came from added sugar. The biggest sources for adults were soft drinks, fruit juices, desserts and candy.”
  • The American Diabetes Association explains (and debunks myths) around sugar and diabetes.