##NYC health department calls on food and beverage makers to cut sugar

Health 19-10-2018 Health USA 10
###NYC health department calls on food and beverage makers to cut sugar | #MIDDAY

Nearly 100 health departments across the country want to tweak your Twinkies.

The health departments — including in New York City — have joined in asking processed food and beverage makers to voluntarily decrease the sugar in their products by 20 percent by 2025.

The National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative wants less sugar in drinks, pastries, cake and cookies, dry mixes, frozen desserts, candies, breakfast cereal, dessert toppings and yogurt.

They’re even aiming to lower the sugar content of ketchup and other condiments.

“Currently, 68 percent of packaged foods and beverages purchased in the US contain added sugar, making it difficult for individuals to reduce their sugar consumption,” the city’s acting health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, said in a statement announcing the initiative.

Most Americans consume far too much sugar, increasing their risk for diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease and cavities, Barbot noted.

The average American eats 270 calories of sugar a day, the equivalent of 17 teaspoons, Barbot said. Dietary guidelines recommend a maximum of 200 calories, or 12 teaspoons.

The same initiative went after salt in 2009, getting nearly 30 food companies to commit to reduce sodium levels in their foods.

Between 2009 and 2015, there was a 6.8 percent reduction in sodium content among a sample of top-selling packaged foods.

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