Sugar and the weight loss battle! Winning the game

Our new research into people’s dieting habits and sugar awareness reveals a string of extraordinary disconnects and diet downfalls, which help to explain the difficult battle with weight and obesity.

Half of all diets started, fail within the first week, with 51% of adults admitting they cheat or give up within seven days. Lack of willpower is the greatest challenge (36%), closely followed by resisting the temptation to eat something sweet (33%).

Two out of three adults (64%) worry about their sugar intake, and the same number (64%) believe that sugar reduction is important when they are trying to lose weight — yet the new data shows that seven out of 10 adults do not actually know how much sugar they can safely consume.

Dr Emma Derbyshire states that: “There is consensus that current sugar intakes are far too high and reducing the consumption of free (added) sugars has been identified as a health priority. But how can consumers achieve the new sugar reduction targets when they don’t know what they are, and they are not checking how much sugar is in the foods they eat?”

Consumers are convinced that brown sugar is healthier than refined white sugar, and that honey is much better than both. However, Dr Emma Derbyshire says; “Although honey may contain some additional antioxidants, it also releases its sugars rapidly and can be just as challenging as white or brown sugar from this stance.”

Katharine Jenner, a registered nutritionist and director of Action on Sugar says: “Poor nutrition labelling, misleading marketing claims, and mixed messages from well-meaning chefs and influencers, lead to consumers being rightly confused about what free sugars actually are, which products contain them, and how much they contribute to their total daily sugar intake.”

Almost a third of adults (31%) believe honey is the healthiest form of sweetener, and 28% had thought about using honey or molasses instead of sugar when cooking — even though all three are equally calorific forms of free sugar.

GP, Dr Gill Jenkins says: “Most people know that weight loss is all about reducing calories in and increasing calories burnt. It’s a simple equation, but it is complicated by individual eating habits, motivations to lose weight, and dietary desires – especially many peoples’ cravings for sweet tasting foods and drinks. There is no point repeating the same old weight-loss messages about calories in and calories out, they are not working. We live in a world which demands simple and easy-to-achieve solutions. We also know that significant weight loss can be achieved through small, but sustainable long-term changes —swapping sugar for a low or no-calorie sweetener ticks both these boxes. Sugar substitution is a simple and achievable way to cut calories. It requires no will-power and allows dieters, and anyone who wants to maintain a healthy weight, to enjoy sweet treats which are free from unhealthy free sugars and excess calories.”

Together we can win this battle!