How Government Can Make It Easier for Americans to Lead Healthier Lives

Something has to give. We have a serious health crisis in America and it’s impacting a whole lot more people than the Ebola virus. Over the past 30 years childhood obesity rates have tripled; 1 in 3 adults are overweight or obese; and over 29 million people have diabetes. All of these things have helped cause our healthcare spending as a nation to go through the roof, with no end in sight. Studies have shown that one of the largest contributors to this debacle is the enormous quantities of sugar we each consume every day as a nation.

Some of that consumption is in obvious forms like soda, donuts and cookies. But a lot of it is “hidden” in 80% of the more than 600,000 items sold in the average supermarket. We use the term hidden because there are several ways food manufacturers thwart the consumer’s ability to understand exactly how much sugar is in the product they are buying. One is by using over 56 different names for the ingredient (like dextrose, agave nectar, beet sugar, fructose, glucose, and honey). Unfortunately, as Shakespeare wrote, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet and the same goes for sugar.

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