Easily Overlooked

Easily Overlooked

By Dean L. Jones

It is something unique about northern California voters who seemingly act on futuristic issues considerably more than southland social change advocates.  For instance, the majority of folks living in the City of Berkeley significantly cut back on sugar laden sodas after the city introduced a tax on sugary beverages.

In following up on the Berkeley consumer’s response to the tax, researchers found that in two low-income neighborhoods that soda consumption dropped a notable 22% after Berkeley imposed a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.  The city’s tax went into effect in May 2015, and made a 20-ounce bottle of Coke 20₡ more expensive for distributors and stores, where such extra costs are passed on to consumers.

Nevertheless, this reduction in liquid sugar consumption has not had any positive effect on nearby Oakland and San Francisco residents.  Where the same researchers revealed how in places where there has been no sugar tax implementation sugary beverage consumption increased 4%.

Although similar laws have been proposed around the country and world, Berkeley is one of the few cities in the country to successfully pass a soda tax.  In July, Philadelphia passed a tax increase of 1-½₡ cents per ounce of sugar-added and artificially sweetened soft drinks.  Internationally, efforts have had more success, where soda taxes have passed in France, Hungary, and Mexico.

Drinking sodas can often feel refreshing and unless there is a sort of tap on the shoulder to remind us about the dangers of consuming too much sugar we tend to neglect the numerous teaspoons of sugar going down.  Consequently, it is easy to overlook the amount of processed sugar eaten each day when there are no reminders or warnings stating where it may exist.

A number foodstuff items we routinely consume are overlooked as containing processed sugar.  Barbecue sauces average a couple of teaspoons of sugar per serving.  Fruit Yogurts range from 2 to 4 teaspoons of sugar per serving.  Traditional Chinese dishes commonly add 1 to 3 teaspoons of processed sugar to their tasty entrees.  Kung Pao Chicken uses on average 2-teaspoons of sugar per serving, but sweet and sour chicken dishes can have upwards to 5-teaspoons of sugar per serving.

Pasta sauces are notoriously placing 3-teaspoons of sugar per serving.  One overlooked area comes with the so called healthy foodstuff items like dried fruit and Granola bars.  Just ⅓ cup of dried fruit can have as much as 6-teaspoons of processed sugar and a granola bar contains on average 3-teaspoons of processed sugar.  The sugar contents is not only the natural fructose that fruit contains, but also these products have added processed sugar used as a preservative.

Unfortunately, strokes, diabetes, and heart ailments are too common.  Thereby leading the question of “what did the doctor say?”  Which is followed by “to exercise and be careful what foods and beverages to have,” or in other words, live more SugarAlert!


Since 2007, Dean steadfastly shares his understanding on the dangers of eating processed sugar.