With summer rapidly approaching, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has kicked off a “Pouring On the Pounds” ad campaign through the NYC Department of Health to encourage the public to drink only healthful liquids. The thrust of the campaign is to lower sugar consumption so that people can control weight, reduce diabetes, and comply with the recommended daily sugar intake of between 25 and 37 grams.
The Department of Health would like people to use good substitutes for sugary drinks, like bottled water, sugarless herbal teas, seltzer, and fat-free yogurts or milks, to cool the body during the hot days of summer. “Sugary drinks” doesn’t just mean sodas; it also means juice and juice drinks, sweetened iced teas, and the like.
Health buffs already know the preferred sugar substitutes like stevia, cinnamon and anise. Natural stevia sweetener contains vegetable fiber and the stevia leaf extract. A single packet of it is known to provide the same sweetness as two or more teaspoons of sugar. Stevia is sold in most health food stores.
Dieters under medical supervision already know the consequences of a high sugar intake. These consequences show up in daily glucose readings well in excess of the norm, as well as a heightened A1C log statistic which measures glucose levels over the past three months with an emphasis on more recent glucose levels. A large lemonade can contain up to 70 grams of sugar, which is nearly the two-day dietary allotment, gulped down in several minutes. A lower consumption of sugar will help to alleviate insulin resistance and the classic problems associated with Type 2 Diabetes.
The Mayor’s new emphasis on all-natural, low- and no-sugar drinks will be good news to physicians, physical therapists, dentists, parents, and many other constituencies charged with the responsibility for health and wellness. People will continue to consume some sugary drinks but the hope is that consumption will be lowered.