The Sugar Tax - What Zsweet Thinks

Making the healthy choice when it comes to your diet is easier said than done. Sugary snacks and drinks, sodium filled entrees, and foods loaded with carbohydrates are seemingly within arm reach at virtually all restaurants and grocery stores. In short, the temptation is everywhere.

Some municipalities, however, are taking measures to penalize frequent consumers of sugary drinks – and they’re hitting them where it hurts – their wallets.  

You may remember the City of Berkeley becoming the first U.S. city to enact a one-cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages such as regular soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, sweetened juices, flavored waters, and Ready To Drink sweetened coffees and teas.

Berkeley voters passed this law in Nov. 2014 and it took effect on March 1, 2015. Two years later, health researchers say the sugar tax is working.  In the year following the implementation of the tax, researchers discovered the volume of sugar-sweetened beverages sold in Berkeley declined by 9.6%, while sales of bottled water rose 15.6%.

The tax, which adds 68 cents to the cost of a two-litter bottle of soda, has added $2.5 million to the city’s coffers (as of the beginning of this year). The funds are earmarked for children nutrition and community health programs.

Zsweet's Take

So where does Zsweet stand on government taking a more active role in our daily lives as it pertains to nutrition?  The experiment in Northern California seems to be working. Should larger cities with wider reach adopt a similar policy?

It certainly wouldn’t hurt, but Tim Avila, one of the founders of Zsweet, says wholesale changes in behavior are required if we wish to put a meaningful dent in sugar consumption.

“The taxes may help somewhat, but behavior modification resources will go much farther in getting people healthier and stemming the rise in metabolic disease,” said Avila. “The entire category of lifestyle products that you find in a Whole Foods Market is driven by individual lifestyle demand based on changing habits.”

Those changing habits stem from a growing chorus of groups that have rejected sugar. We believe a health change motivated by consumer choice carries significantly more influence than one derived by monetary manipulation in the form of a tax.

“While Whole Foods clearly sells a boatload of sugar and cheap carbohydrate based products, the tribes that exist in that world that have rejected sugar are growing,” Avila continued.  “The main thing that legislation and regulation can do is to inconvenience the big boys and force some change there.”

Avila explains that we already see that happening with Big Food and Big Beverage. Those industries have acquiesced to changing consumer demand with major initiatives to reduce sugar by half, or calories by at least 30%. You see it in products that once held 150 calories, transition into a 100-calorie offering.

There certainly isn’t a silver bullet that will solve our sugar dilemma. A multilayered approach that takes advantage of behavior modification, nutrition education at the earliest levels, parental responsibility, and government intervention would go a long way in cultivating a healthier society.

Tobacco vs. Sugar - Which Poses the Greater Health Risk?

The Parallels of Tobacco and Sugar – Which is more Deadly?

Cigarettes: 

Initially, people didn’t know that cigarettes were bad for their health. Because people didn’t feel pain or sickness after smoking just a few cigarettes, no one suspected tobacco of inflicting any hazardous effects on the body and so it took years for doctors to associate cigarettes with bad lungs and cancer. In fact, people loved cigarettes because they made them calm and relieved stress, and many doctors promoted their use for these reasons. What?! Years later cigarette smokers have faced the harmful truths of smoking, and they are now forced to deal with multiple health problems. Sadly, even with undisputed data and statistics proving the ills of tobacco, many are unable to quit because of the addictive nature of nicotine. This substance stimulates dopamine in the brain which stimulates pleasurable sensations that induce a vicious cycle of cravings.

Sugar:

It may come in the innocent form of Little Debby cakes and gummy bears, but this sweet substance can be every bit as poisonous as smoking cigarettes. Sugar is everywhere and is nearly impossible to avoid. Even if you try to avoid the obvious foods such as candy, chocolate, cake and brownies, you will still find hidden sugars in our regular foods such as smoothies, yogurt, bread, and ketchup. Our society has unknowingly let this sweet killer take over our lives. A study done by the University of Florida shows that sugar can be as addictive as nicotine and cocaine. Just like cigarettes, the more our bodies consume sugar the more we crave it. Every day we crave sugar and are consuming more than we need, on average adults are eating twice the recommended daily amount.

Deadliest?

Now let’s examine which is the more notorious killer of the two. Cigarettes are linked to lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and myriad other conditions. Using world-wide figures the deaths from cigarettes number about 5 million per year. Sugar can lead to obesity which causes 17 million deaths per year. Sugar is also responsible for other diseases such as, heart disease and diabetes. Using just conservative data figures, sugar is most likely responsible for three times more deaths than cigarettes. Sugar is a true silent killer, and like cigarettes we can’t shake the sugar because the harmful effects are not immediately observable, unless diabetes or another blood sugar condition is present. Today our society has realized the harmful effects of cigarettes, but we have yet to realize the harmful effects of sugar. We see ourselves making the same mistake with sugar as we did with cigarettes. Can we stop this killer before it’s too late?

This article originally appeared on the Lakanto Blog on Feb. 8, 2017.

Among Consumers Concern About Artificial Sweeteners is Growing

More and more consumers are ready to ditch potentially harmful artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Equal in favor of natural products such as Zsweet, according to a recent survey by the Natural Marketing Institute.

The evidence, which compares 2016 data to research conducted in 2005 and 2011, is overwhelming. According to the survey, 59% of consumers prefer real/cane sugar rather than artificial sweeteners.  

Additionally, 57% of the general population says they consistently monitor the amount of sugar in their diets. That number has increased steadily since the 2005 figure of 49%. In 2011, the figure was essentially unchanged at 51%, but in 2016 it jumped to 57%.

What does this have to do with Zsweet?  For starters, consumers are responding to the wider lineup of all-natural, zero calorie sweeteners like Zsweet. Prior to the advent of such healthy alternatives, consumers had to choose from the unhealthy lineup of the artificial stuff. 

Consumers are more health conscious than ever and are willing to try new, healthier options that do not sacrifice on taste or flavor. In fact, Zsweet is among the best tasting natural sweeteners on the market. To learn more about the magic behind Zsweet, please click here.

Erythritol - Worthy of the Sugar Substitute Spotlight

Check out this synthesis from Body Nutrtion expounding on some of the science behind erythritol. Learn how the body handles erythritol, how it compares to artificial sweeteners (Boo!), and just why this is simply the best option of sugar substitutes.

The best tasting erythritol blend is right here - Zsweet®! If you haven't already tried it and are looking for an all natural sugar substitute, here it is. Great tasting and truly zero calorie. Pick up a few boxes of Zsweet® SuperSweet packets for when your on the go, and grab a couple pouches of Zsweet® granulated for your Zero Worries baking and cooking at home!

 

Sugary Drinks Linked to High Death Tolls Worldwide

Check out this report on a study done by Tufts University in Massachusetts on the correlation between consumption of sugar sweetened drinks and their "direct impact on diabetes and the obesity-related effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer."  

Seeing these kind of reports day after day should give us all a reason to pause next time we are contemplating getting a fountain drink at lunch, or next time we're at the store and our kids ask us for a couple of twelve-packs of soda (they're even on sale, 4 twelve-packs for $8).  Even on our way in to work each morning, how many of us stop in at the local coffee shop and get our morning latte or mocha? Or maybe we get the "skinny" aka "healthy" option. We warmly invite you to look at the nutrition facts next time you stop in there and take a look at the sugar column. You just might be surprised.  

Next time you're looking for a sweet coffee beverage, try ordering a regular coffee with a splash of heavy whipping cream for a rich, delicious full flavor (or some half & half for a lower fat option). Once you have that in hand, you can add in a couple of Zsweet® SuperSweet Packets, and you are good to go!