With General Mills’ recent announcement that it was cutting the amount of added sugar in its Yoplait Original yogurt by more than 25%, one has to wonder if America is reaching a tipping point on sugar. The company’s announcement comes amidst a very public – and growing – debate about the adverse effects of added sugar on human health. The recommendations for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines also included sharp limits on added sugar.
Emily Kaiser (@ekaiser) of Minnesota Public Radio explores the issue with some interesting guests, including Michael Moss, a New York Times investigative reporter, and the author of “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.” (Moss also recently exposed animal welfare issues at a federal research facility in Nebraska). Kaiser also speaks with Anjali Athavaley, a Thomson Reuters food and beverage reporter, as well as Maha Tahiri, a General Mills vice president and its chief health and wellness officer.
Clearly, much of the change is being driven by a growing consumer demand for healthier foods, transparency, and social justice within the food system. Major food manufacturers will need to change to grow, Anjali Athavaley says.
“When you hear those announcements, they’re all part of a broader effort to stay relevant,” she said. “That’s not necessarily a sign that it’s going to work. These companies are under a lot of pressure to change and to a certain extent they’re giving the public and they’re giving investors what they want to hear. Whether they can actually deliver the results, that’s something that remains to be seen.”
This broadcast is fifty-plus minutes long, but well worth the time. There’s also a written summary of the interview, here.
If you’re interested in learning more about sugar consumption and its impact on human health, you may wish to visit SugarScience, a website collaboratively managed by faculty and researchers from UC San Francisco, UC Davis and Emory University. SugarScience is viewed as an authoritative source for evidence-based, scientific information about sugar and its impact on health.