Johny Johny Yes Papa! Eating Sugar, Yes, Yes, Papa!

I am freaking out. In the past month between Christmas, New Years and all the Indian festivals in between I feel as if I have consumed my weight in sugar and let’s not talk about how much my kids have eaten. I cringe at the thought.

Sugar and I are not strangers, we are friends, close friends even, I confess. I spent part of my childhood in the mountains, the very majestic Himalayas to be specific. Our town wasn’t equipped to handle the winter and so the school break would start in December and run for the next three months. That time was all about visiting cousins and grandparents, playing in the cold crisp air, sledding down mountains on plastic sheets and of course gobbling down delicious food! The joy of roti (Indian bread) with dollops of butter and Cane sugar (traditionally called Gur), home-made Sesame Balls (til ke laddu), Carrot Halwa, the list is endless as was the deliciousness. Dessert was a must after every meal except perhaps breakfast.

Yes, there was a lot of sugar in our meals but somehow none of it was the white, refined crystals that we fear so much today. The verdict is in. Sugar is evil! But we still seem to be drowning in it. We know its ill effects (lethargy, bloating, tooth decay, liver problems, ADHD, obesity and a lot more) but still find it in everything. Unlike the good old times the consumption isn’t so transparent anymore.

Today our dining table looks really different. Kids prefer packaged cereals over porridge made from scratch. Juice from a box, ready made sauces etc, the added sugar, well adds up.

So let’s do the math together, maths if you’re reading this anywhere other than North America :). Here’s just a regular day out and about, weekend, birthday party, family visiting. Fun times huh!

Chocolate cereals = 6-7 tsp of sugar (I know, I know this one’s on me!)

Pizza 1 serving = 1 1/2 tsp of sugar

Juice Box (Mango based) = 10 tsp of sugar

Average Fast Food Burger = 6gm in the bun and at least 2 gm ketchup = 2 tsp of sugar

BBQ sauce = 1 tbsp = 1 1/2 tsp of sugar

Tomato based Pasta Sauce = 150gm = 3 tsp of sugar

Baked Beans = 100gm = 2 tsp of sugar

lollipops = 2 1/2 to 3 tsp of sugar (yes, that small thing)

Jelly – 100gms = 16/17 tsp of sugar

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adults should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar and children no more than 4. The total up there is already way beyond any recommendations. I am not concerned about foods like fruits and vegetables that have a lot of intrinsic sugar since it is the added sugar that has regulations around it and has me freaking out. So I am surely watching what comes to the meal tables from tomorrow.

Comments (6)

Trevon Posted on Jul 21, 2018

These pieces really set a standard in the inusdtry.


Rishabha Posted on Jan 18, 2015

Could not agree more! In my case I will first need to control my own sugar before I can say anything to my son! Else will start his long list of questions on why it is only applicable on him!

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P C Posted on Jan 18, 2015

Nice to see young mama and papa taking lot of effort to pacify their children's sweet tastebuds through healthy options


Fayaz Posted on Jan 17, 2015

I read somewhere - The World Health Organization regards childhood obesity as one of the most serious global public health challenges...

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DC Posted on Jan 17, 2015

When I was growing up, we ate home cooked food without worrying about sugar or fat. And we played outdoors. Climbed trees. Rode bicycles to school. Ran uphill, downhill. But today with sedentary lifestyles and kids love for indoors we need to count sugar. Your article is much needed. Educative. Informative


Sumeet Posted on Jan 16, 2015

I love your idea of mixing juice with soda.

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