Responsible Sugar

Icon_Sugar_SpoonIs there such a thing as "Responsible Sugar" consumption? Even the world's largest candy company supports the recommendation that total added sugar should be limited to no more than 10% of total calories. 

For adults and children over four years old consuming 2,000 calories per day, this would mean aiming to eat no more than 200 calories (50g or 12.5 teaspoons) from added sugar. The FDA proposes 25g (6.25 teaspoons) for children ages one to three. The current U.S. average is 22.6 teaspoons per day, and could well be over 30 teaspoons per day (people tend to under-report their consumption of sugar, given that it is hidden in so many food products).

The establishment of limits for consumption of added sugar is supported by the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization, and the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. And now, a new study from shows a mere 10 days of sugar restriction has major impacts on the metabolic health of children.

Knowing what the healthy limit of added sugar is essential. However without added sugar being included on food labels, we lack the the information we need to make responsible decisions about the food we buy. Again, the world's largest candy company also supports inclusion of added sugar on all food labels. Nestle has now joined with Mars, Inc., and has adopted the same position.

In America, *77% of packaged foods contain added sugar, thereby limiting consumer choice. As the price of dietary sugar has declined in recent decades, food manufacturers have taken advantage by adding more sugar to processed foods, so that it has taken the place of more expensive nutrients and acts to increase the shelf life of foods, thus decreasing depreciation. 

Limiting and labeling added sugar consumption is not just the right thing to do - it is the responsible thing to do. 

An exhaustive review of the scientific literature on sugar and health has been conducted by the team at SugarScience.Org. The scientists at SugarScienc.Org comb through thousands of research papers on the health impacts of sugar to ensure that the public has the most current and accurate scientific knowledge in this field. This systematic review has revealed strong and growing scientific evidence of sugar's link to diabetes, heart disease and liver disease. The science for this is overwhelming - please visit SugarScience.Org for the latest sugar science information.

"As diabetes, obesity hit epidemic proportions, sugar is among the prime suspects, with calculable health and economic costs." -Morgan Stanley report The Bitter Aftertaste of Sugar

Sadly, many interests in the food and beverage industry think that the "sugar problem" is simply a matter of changing marketing strategies and tactics. Rebranding and marketing shell games are irresponsible and ignore the overwhelming body of science that indicates that sugar consumption at the current levels is the leading driver of metabolic disease that affects over 25% of people on earth. Mars, Inc., understands there is a problem. Nestle understands there is a problem. World leading finance and investment companies like Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley understand there is a problem, and provide detailed analysis that chronic diseases resulting from excess sugar consumption pose significant economic risks to global economies. 

"When the doors closed at the Great Western Sugar Company in Colorado in 1976, someone forgot to sweep the floor. Gathering dust in the archives were 1500 pages of internal documents exposing how the Sugar Industry used Tobacco-style tactics to dismiss troubling health claims against their products. Denver dentist turned postdoctoral scholar at the UCSF School of Medicine, Cristin Kearns, knew she’d stumbled on something big: the industry’s secret playbook." - Sugar Coated Documentary

Obesity & Diabetes Epidemic Pose Economic Threat

The acclaimed Sugar Coated Documentary provides a wealth of evidence that the sugar industry has been deliberately hiding the truth from consumers for decades.

How much more evidence has to be presented to compel a greater level of corporate social responsibility in the food and beverage industry? Supporting healthy limits to sugar consumption, and transparency in labeling added sugar in food and beverage products is the minimum that the industry can do.

The IRN is actively engaging with any organization or business that is interested in adopting the policy of limiting and labeling added sugar. For more information, please contact us by clicking here.


*77% of all calories purchased in the United States in 2005-2009 contained caloric sweeteners and 3% contained noncaloric sweeteners, and 73% of the volume of foods purchased contained caloric sweetener and 15% contained noncaloric sweetener. Referenced in the paper by Ng SW, Slining MM, Popkin BM. Use of caloric and noncaloric sweeteners in US consumer packaged foods, 2005–2009. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012;112(11):1828–34.

Where are getting all that sugar from?

Food Sources of Added SugarsSource: USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Working Group on Added Sugars. The 2015 scientific report of the USDA/DGAC is published here.

The IRN actively uses the #ResponsibleSugar hashtag on social media to bring attention to the healthy limits for added sugar.

How did we get here? Watch Sugar Coated:

Join the global conversation about "Responsible Sugar"

Use the hashtag #ResponsibleSugar on Twitter and Facebook to post and view comments on the subject.

Visit the social media websites for Sugar Coated and the Institute for Responsible Nutrition:

Sugar Coated Documentary


Twitter: @SugarCoatedDoc 

Institute for Responsible Nutrition


Twitter: @ResponsibleFood 

"Click to Tweets"

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I'm joining the global conversation on #sugar and #health. The science is in: there is such a thing as #ResponsibleSugar consumption. 

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[email protected] blows the lid off of the #sugar industry tactics. There are safe, healthy levels for #ResponsibleSugar consumption.

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#Sugar industry tactics aren't so sweet. @SugarCoatedDoc exposes what they have been up to. #ResponsibleSugar @responsiblefood

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Is #sugar all that? Check out this short animated film and decide for yourself.

Here's the video:





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