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The Low-Sugar Craze Points Consumers To Splenda

It's virtually impossible for me to go a day on the blog without reminding you how important it is to limit, with the goal of eliminating, your intake of sugars and grains. Eliminating sugars and grains means just that, and not replacing them with low-calorie foods filled with additives like Splenda.

However, many consumers don't see it that way, according to a front page story in yesterday's New York Times, my favorite newspaper in the world. The numbers certainly speak for themselves: Almost half of all shoppers, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, said they were on the lookout for products with reduced sugar.

Moreover, consumer research done by ACNielsen found organic and low/no sugar as the two most popular descriptors that will get new products noticed by consumers and generate the strongest sales growth. And many of these new products aren't just the usual suspects (think diet soft drinks and sugarless gum). They're a virtual multitude of products that encompass many processed food categories, and all of them not good for you at all.

This awesome piece also cites concerns from a growing number of nutritional experts about the increased consumption of what are essentially chemical sweeteners, especially among children. That has everything to do with the masterful sales job Tate & Lyle has done to fuel the meteoric rise of Splenda to the top of the heap among unnatural sugar substitutes. One sad factoid: The food industry introduced some 2,200 sugarless or sugar-reduced products in America last year, or about 11 percent of all new products in 2004.

Here's one thing to remember when someone tells you about the newest low-sugar, low-fat processed food: If these products were so great in the first place, why haven't they had any effect at all on the obesity epidemic that's spiraling out of control in this country?

New York Times May 15, 2005 Registration Required

Gainesville Sun May 15, 2005

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