As has been the case for years, the Sugar Association had a booth at this year’s Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual conference (the Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo, commonly known as “FNCE”).
Among the materials available at the booth for dietitians (see our photo album for images):
- “A Journey With Sugar Cane and Sugar Beet” storybook and workbook, which aims to “educate” children on the many uses and benefits of sugar. As you can see, one page has the sugar cane character proclaiming: “We make foods with lots of vitamins and minerals taste good!”
- A handout stating that “sugar is all natural and only has 15 calories per teaspoon” and providing bizarre examples of how to burn the 15 calories in that teaspoon of sugar (i.e.: “7 minutes of styling your hair” and “8 minutes of pumping gas”).
- A “sugar as part of a healthy diet” handout which claims sugar helps make whole grains, fruits, and vegetables “palatable” and recommends adding “a couple of teaspoons” of sugar to a bowl of oatmeal. The handout goes as far to say that “sugar intake is not a causative factor in any disease.”
It’s particularly disturbing that this information is available so that dietitians can presumably share it with their clients. Considering that the average American far exceeds added sugar recommendations set forth by the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization (and, provided Big Food doesn’t get its way, the Food and Drug Administration), this harmless view at sugar is irresponsible.