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Making a Federal Case Out of the Soda Wars

February 18, 2013
Plain English Version

Sugar and sweeteners are staples in the American diet. The problem is that they can cause diabetes and obesity – two conditions that lead to poor health.

It is not unsafe to use moderate amounts of sugar and sweeteners. (See photo of President Obama.)

The American Heart Association says women should consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day, and men should consume no more than nine teaspoons. A twenty-ounce bottle of soda contains about 16 teaspoons of sugar or sweetener – much more than recommended.

A nutritionist said, “You would not sit down and eat 16 teaspoons of sugar, but when it is in a drink you do not notice because you can not see it.”

Progress in reducing calories in drinks is being made. People are drinking more bottled water. Soft drink companies are offering low-calorie and no-calorie drinks.

The Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) monitors the food consumed in the United States. Thus far, it has not taken action to limit the amount of sweeteners in soft drinks.

Health agencies and officials are asking them to get involved. If they choose to do so, the F.D.A. can set limits for caloric sweeteners in soft drinks.

The New York Times

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