Imagine Adding 18 Teaspoons of Sugar to Your Morning Coffee

Mandatory nutritional labeling on consumable products is a good thing, right?  For example, the label on a 20-ounce bottle of Hawaiian Punch tells us that this product contains 29 grams of sugar per serving.  Good information, right?   I mean grams are a whole lot less than ounces and Hawaiian Punch is almost like juice, right?  As you might suspect, it’s not right.  Nutritional labeling is a step in the right direction but very few of us can look at a label and quickly conclude if the item is a healthy choice or not.

            Here’s the reality.  A 20-ounce bottle of Hawaiian Punch actually contains over 18 teaspoons of sugar.  Yes, 18 teaspoons!  Imagine adding 18 teaspoons of sugar to your morning coffee.  You wouldn’t do it, and you wouldn’t knowingly give your child this much sugar either.   Because we’ve all grown up with teaspoons in our kitchens, we can visualize how much a teaspoon amount is.  And we know without a doubt that 18 of them are a lot!  A teaspoon is a much more broadly understood and recognized measurement than a gram. 

          A Teaspoon of Sugar is a simple blog with a big objective:  to educate and empower the reader using a common sense and straight-forward approach for making smart sugary food/beverage choices.  It engages the reader visually and is designed to be more user-friendly than many other books and blogs on food choices and nutrition.  The blog provides easy-to-understand information on popular sugar-fill consumables and their corresponding number of sugar teaspoons.  Because you can visualize how much a teaspoon is, the result is information that can quickly be understood and processed.  Can you visualize how much a gram is?  Probably not.

           More than 65 percent of adults in this country are overweight or obese.  More than 50 percent of American kids are overweight including nine million obese children under the age of six.  Childhood obesity is one of the most serious medical conditions our country has today.  These overweight kids face a future of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.  If this trend is not reversed, today’s children may be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than the generation before them.  One of the main culprits for this obesity epidemic is a high sugar diet.  Sugar is cheap and it’s everywhere – homes, schools, parks, concerts, sporting events and stores. 

            Many people incorrectly think juice beverages are a good source of vitamins and minerals.  Unfortunately, the high sugar content of most juice beverages outweighs their moderate nutritional benefits.  Also, many people believe a small candy packet is harmless.  However, if they knew that a packet of Sour-Patch candy contains 10.25 teaspoon of sugar, they might think differently. 

            A Teaspoon of Sugar provides straightforward, proactive information on sugar metabolism and how too much sugar intake can lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, learning difficulties, acne, tooth decay and poor athletic performance.  This blog is a tool, a visual guideblog, an educational aide, and a practical support method for determining, without a doubt, whether or not a consumable has too much sugar in it.   

            A Teaspoon of Sugar is the first health guideblog to:

–  Present clear and easy-to-understand information on sugar metabolism.

–  Explain in a straightforward way that too much sugar intake causes weight gain.

–  Provide information that clearly links high sugar intake to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, learning issues, skin problems, dental problems and poor athletic performance.

–  Educate individuals on food/beverage choices and sugar consumption. 

–  Teach readers how to interpret a food label for sugar levels and serving size.

–  Make the conversion for sugar from an unfamiliar gram measurement to the more familiar teaspoon measurement – one teaspoon is equal to four grams.

–  Provide a visual common sense guideblog listing the number of sugar teaspoons found in popular consumables.

          The blog will allow the reader to independently go from incapable to capable in their ability to say “no” to sugary beverages and snacks.  The blog is an invaluable tool for parents since they can now show the photographs with the corresponding teaspoon-symbol to their children to explain why certain beverages and snacks are not good choices.  Most parents want to be more conscientious about their child’s health, but unclear labeling and misleading advertisements make it difficult. 

           My blogs are dialogues with parents who have unknowingly allowed their children to fall into the downward spiral of sugar over-indulgence.  Watching parents and children climb out and stand tall with knowledge is becoming a frequent event.  Parents can and will make the right choice once they’ve been given knowledge and the proper tool.  Most parents are completely unaware of the amount of sugar their children are ingesting in one day – sometimes up to 90 teaspoons.  This has to stop!  It has become my passion to educate and watch parents go from uninformed enablers to educated and savvy teachers.

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