What do we usually have for breakfast? More likely that fruit juice is among the foods that are most commonly served at our breakfast tables. But is it really a “healthy choice” like Canada’s Food Guide says?
You would be surprised to know about ground-breaking findings in the report entitled Obesity in Canada: A Whole-of-Society Approach for a Healthier Canada, which was released on March 1, 2016, by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. This report is a result of an intensive study conducted between February 2014 and June 2015.
“Canada’s dated food guide is no longer effective in providing nutritional guidance to Canadians,” the report says. “Fruit juice, for instance, is presented as a health item, when it is little more than a soft drink without the bubbles.”
So, if you think that fruit juice is a healthy choice, you are wrong! Fruit juice contains as much sugar and calories as a sugary soft drink.
Check the facts:
Unsweetened Apple juice
- 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams
- 46 calories
- 9 g of sugar per 100 grams
- 38 calories
1 teaspoon = 5 grams
WHO recommends: 6 teaspoons of sugar per adult per day = 30 grams
Do the math!
You probably don’t know that during the last 35 years the number of obese Canadian adults has doubled and the number of obese children has tripled. But you definitely know that obesity causes many serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. An increase in consumption of pre-packaged, highly processed foods, like instant noodles and frozen pizzas, candy, soft drinks, and salty snacks are some of the key contributors to Canada’s obesity crisis.
There are 21 recommendations in the report to combat obesity, and the following are some of them:
- a complete revision of Canada’s Food Guide to better reflect scientific facts
- a ban on advertising food and drink to children
- a possible tax on sugar-sweetened beverages
- a review of nutrition food labelling to make it easier to understand
- a plan for making healthy food more affordable.
The cost in health care spending, and in lost productivity due to obesity, is estimated to be between $4.6 billion and $7.1 billion in Canada annually.
The report can be downloaded at: www.senate-senat.ca/social.asp