The Austrian Diabetes Association, ÖDG, has issued a public statement recommending that citizens reduce excessive sugar consumption, which drives obesity, diabetes and NAFLD. The Association recommends sugar-reduced alternatives and suggests that if these become more affordable and widely available, it may help reduce health challenges among high risk populations, particularly young people and those with lower SES. Educating and supporting healthier alternatives to sugar, ÖDG writes, will be key to reducing health risk for society at large.
Overweight and obesity affects 50 – 60% of Austrians and the numbers are rising. Sugar is one of the main triggers of metabolic disorders, says president of the Austrian Diabetes Society, Dr. Hermann Toplak, from the outpatient clinic for lipid metabolism at the University Hospital, Medical University of Graz; our super-sweet lifestyle makes us sick. “Sugar is pure energy and we are taking on energy we do not burn because we are not moving enough.” Food sweetened with sugar contribute to obesity and insulin resistance (which is a precursor of type 2 diabetes) through its effect on glucose levels. The Austrian press release goes on to say that In recent years, the strong correlation between consumption of SSBs and the emergence of overweight, obesity and diabetes has been thoroughly examined and demonstrated. From early childhood when personal taste is formed, children are faced with foods that contain high levels of sugar. This must change in the interest of public health.