Headed home from my friend’s house just now, I’m thinking of our discussion on our recent diet dilemma’s. We each tweak and modify our own version of the Keto program to work best for us. In any ‘diet’ or nutritional program that has you preparing your own food, they give you those opportunities to tweak the meals into your liking within the realms of the program.
She’s back on her Keto journey after being off for several months and again the biggest hurdle for her is the 3rd day of sugar withdrawal. It’s a serious thing. Sugar and it’s effect on our health and wellbeing. Have you ever taken the time to register how much sugar (in all its forms) we digest in a day? It’s scary.
Now to an article that one of my article angels sent me last week on this exact topic. “Sugary drink ban tied to health improvements at medical center,” Conrad, F.R. New York Times, Oct. 28, 2019.
From the University of California, San Diego a study has documented the health impact of soda sales on its employees. UCSD joined a slew of other hospitals and medical centers across the country in banning the sales of sugar-sweetened beverages in an effort to reduce obesity, diabetes and improve health amongst their employees.
After 10 months, the hospital found that the daily consumption of sugary drinks was cut in half and “by the end of the study period, the group had, on average, reduced their waist sizes and belly fat. Those who cut back on sugary beverages also tended to see improvements in insulin resistance.”
The article points out that health authorities say that Americans have gotten fatter because they are consuming too many calories of all kinds but have singled out the role of added sugar consumption between 1977-2010, which increased more than 30 percent, as one of the biggest culprit to the epidemic.
Harvard School of Public Health says that sports drinks, fruit punches, sodas and other sweetened drinks are the single largest source of calories and added sugar in the American diet and “a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.”
UCSD’s study recruited 214 campus employees and then followed them to see how the ban of sales on sugary drinks affected them. The employees averaged an equivalent of three cans of soda per day.
Interesting find; “the cafeteria workers had the higher intake of sugar due to their ‘open tap’ policy that allowed them to drink freely from the soda machines,” said Dr. Elissa Epel who authored the study and the director of Aging, Metabolism and Emotions Center at USCF.
“While that sounds like a favor to them, it was actually detrimental to their health. This subgroup of workers tended to have a heavier B.M.I,” said Epel.
The study split the workers into two groups; one with counseling and one without. The counseling group got a brief motivational intervention that explained the effects of sugar on the body and told them how much they were individually ingesting each day. They were given goals and occasionally got calls to check-in. The other group served as controls.
The 10-month results showed that both groups cut their intake of sugary drinks down to 18 ounces a day from 35 ounces. They both had reductions of abdominal fat, including their waist sizes, which shrank by 2.1 centimeters. The group with the counseling and motivational sessions had the biggest changes, with the greatest reductions of sugary beverages and larger improvements in their metabolic health.
“This was because sugar intake is strongly linked to belly fat. The type of fat that we store in the liver and in the abdominal fat tissue is very sensitive to sugar,” Dr. Epel said.
This study supports the environmental influence that can impact our lives and health. Things like having candy sitting on your desk, offering sugary drinks and foods as incentives, etc. If it’s not readily available and/or it’s taken away it can and will affect someone’s risk of cardiometabolic disease. Think about this in your own home!!
The article states that since 2016 the consumption of sugar has dropped in half, however, there’s still an obesity epidemic. So that’ll be another article. For now, think about how to reduce your sugar consumption!