High Obesity Rate to Compel U.S. Government to Take Measures Regarding Sugar Consumption


Published Date : Mar 21, 2016

zAccording to the latest data released by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the obesity rate in the U.S. has not dipped through this decade even though public health campaigns have been trying to create awareness about the issue. In 2011 and 2012, the obesity rate was 35%. The latest figures for 2013 and 2014 suggest that the obesity rate is nearly around 38%. Experts have pointed out that the 3-percentage-point increase from the past results is not significant in terms of statistics but the 6-point-increase from 2003 and 2004 is relevant. 

How U.S. can curb High Sugar Intake among Population?

Obesity-related cardiac diseases and diabetes are highly prevalent across the U.S. The diseases are wholly preventable and small decreases in the projected obesity rates in the next couple of decades would save billions of dollars on treatment. It is high time for the government to respond strongly regarding this issue. While official dietary guidelines have improved and there has been an initiative to disclose the amount of added sugar on the labels of packaged food, awareness regarding obesity runs low, especially among the poor and minority communities. To curb the high sugar consumption among the masses, some are of the opinion to cut agricultural industry supports and improve the lunch menu across schools.

Many experts suggest that the introduction of tax on sugary drinks would limit the consumption of extra calories in the U.S. In 2013, Mexico imposed a peso-per-litre soda tax. The obesity rate across Mexico is high with a high per capita consumption of soft drink. Initial studies have suggested that after the introduction of the tax, the consumption of soda has reduced, especially among the poor communities. In the U.S., 16% of the caloric intake comes in form of added sugars. While it might be a possibility that soda taxes would compel people to shift to other sources for their sugar consumption, taxing the ingredient itself and eliminating any effects of substitutes will be helpful in curbing the high sugar itake among consumers.