The One Percentage Point Solution

Sept. 29, 2020

When you're trying to limit calories from sugar, there's not much difference between 5% and 6%.

Someone once said that if sugar had been discovered last year instead of in antiquity, it would now be a controlled substance. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it does have certain things in common with actual controlled substances: it’s pleasurable enough to be addictive, it’s terrible for your health, and efforts to curtail its use are usually futile.

That’s why, when I posted this news item about a federal advisory panel’s recommendation for sugar consumption, it was with some skepticism. The panel wants to lower the recommended allowance for added sugars from 10% to 6% of total calories. Part of me says, Yes, we should all consume less sugar; a far larger part of me says, Six percent? Yeah, right. Keeping to 10% would be hard enough for most people; according to a helpful graphic accompanying a Wall Street Journal article, that would be one 16-ounce Starbucks pumpkin spice latte.

What really caught my eye in the Journal article was a quote from the panel’s chair, who heads the nutrition department at a major university. She said the panel members figured how many discretionary calories are in a healthy diet, and split them between fats and added sugars, allocating slightly more to the former. The sugar component came out to 5% of total calories, but they made it 6% because “we weren’t trying to be unreasonable to how people eat.”

Oh my goodness, professor. I appreciate your intentions, but if you think one percentage point is going to make a difference, I have a sugar farm on Florida swampland I’d like to show you.

Sponsored Recommendations

Troubleshoot: Grittiness in gluten free cookies

Learn how to adjust gluten free cookie recipes for a softer texture.

Clabber Girl: Rising Success

Uncover how Clabber Girl Corporation achieved a remarkable 7% growth and improved manufacturing efficiency by seamlessly integrating Vicinity's batch manufacturing solution with...

Intelligent Blends: Taking Technology to the Next Level

Find out how our friends at Intelligent Blends use VicinityFood and Microsoft Dynamics GP to produce the best coffee around.

Key ingredient: Mother Murphy's Laboratories

Flavorings manufacturer Mother Murphy’s Laboratories integrates front office with production facility — improving operations from initial order to final invoice.