Sugaronline Editorial - The only thing worse than Alzheimer’s… By Meghan Sapp

Published: 07/14/2017, 12:47:00 AM

Demand for sugar consumption is slowing, and it's no wonder why.

Demand for sugar consumption is slowing, and it's no wonder why.


This past spring, research came out linking sugar along with alternative sweeteners to Alzheimer’s, something that seemed like a death knell for sugar consumption. Who in their right mind, after all, would eat something that could lead to Alzheimer’s?

It turns out that people don’t really care, or hadn’t really heard the news, and went on consuming sugar and alternative sweeteners. So researchers turned up the dial a notch: sugar can lead to erectile dysfunction!

No, really. They said that.

Apparently men don’t know how to control themselves, at least when it comes to drinking sodas, so they overdo it and the impacts lead to lack of ability to achieve “satisfactory intercourse.” Though in many cases that may have to do with a lack of sugar rather than an excess. Tadum cha!

You can blame sugar for giving you cancer now. Oh, and sugar is also being blamed for the appearance of asthma in children, if their mothers consume too much during pregnancy. If they drink too much alcohol during pregnancy, then the impacts can be left on their genes and impact on their grandchildren too, so maybe one day they’ll decide sugar does that too.

But what it comes down to is that research can be published to demonstrate just about anything. Just look at the Canadians, who are blaming NAFTA for obesity because now they import far more HFCS from the US than ever before.

Not all sugar is bad, of course. Just “table sugars,” AKA sucrose and glucose, because research out of Australia says that fructose is A-OK when consumed in moderation.

So with all of this negative messaging about sugar coming from academia and making its way to the popular press with all of these sexy headlines about the evils of sugar, where is the response from industry? Or other research contradicting the claims?

It’s true that individual responses to these kinds of articles would just gain more attention for the negatives and shine a bad light on the industry player who chose to lash out, but a broader response industry-wide in its messaging is required. And quickly. The volume and variety of anti-sugar messages are picking up speed, and sugar demand is already feeling the impact.

How low do you want demand growth to go? Green Pool is already forecasting 1%, down from 2% historically. It’s not just a coincidence that demand is falling and the amount of negative messaging is increasing, either.