Sugar is a secret ingredient in many everyday foods, and the side effects of consuming too much can include unhealthy weight gain and high blood sugar levels.
Sugar is a secret ingredient in many everyday foods, and the side effects of consuming too much can include unhealthy weight gain and high blood sugar levels. Zsolt Biczv

Sweet drinks fuel diabetes increase

WHILE it's well-known that we shouldn't chow down on chocolate and cake every day, the extent to which a high-sugar diet can affect your health is often brushed aside.

With about one million Australians diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated 700,000 undiagnosed, the dangers of a high-sugar diet are real.

In the Warwick area alone, 6.1% of the population is registered with the National Diabetes Services Scheme - 88.6% of these registered with type 2 diabetes.

Joseph Jarvis has recently started a Warwick and District support group for those affected in the region.

"The aim of the group is to support people who already have diabetes," he said.

"We provide a forum for sharing experiences, challenges and successes.

"We provide a monthly presentation from a health care professional."

Mr Jarvis said it was hoped the support group be able to encourage a medical centre to set up a specialist facility with the focus on diabetes management, rather then the current arrangement, whereby patients have to travel to Toowoomba for diabetes management services.

Accredited practising dietitian Duncan Hunter said a scientific study published in the journal, PLOS One, earlier this year linked increased sugar consumption with increased rates of diabetes.

The study found that for every 355 ml of sugar-sweetened beverage introduced per person per day in a country's food system, the rate of diabetes increased by 1%.

"Sugar is a secret ingredient in many every day foods, and the side effects of consuming too much can include unhealthy weight gain and high blood sugar levels," Mr Hunter said.

"This is why an increasing number of nutritionists are recommending low-carbohydrate eating approaches.

"Many find it surprising to hear that sugar is a carbohydrate, and perhaps the worst one of them all, but in fact, one gram of sugar equates to one gram of carbohydrates," Mr Hunter said.

As for where the sugar is hiding, Mr Hunter advised consumers to pay particular attention to the nutritional information on foods marketed as "low fat" - as these often contain added sugar to replace the removed fat content.



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