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CSR: Sugar Industry Responsible for Global Health Crisis


Sugar is considered to be a health hazard by various nutritionists. In fact, several public health experts say it can be as addictive as cocaine. Apart from this, synthetic sugar also increases the risk of cancer; is a chief cause of obesity, heart disease and diabetes; and is also a key contributor to deteriorating oral health around the world.

Despite this, instead of working to reduce sugar consumption, critics have said that big brands including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo instead have been planning to increase marketing of sugary products in emerging markets.

Sugar is responsible for the majority of problems faced in oral health. However, just like most other medical fields, dentistry relies more on the treatment rather than prevention of diseases.

According to a report by IMARC Group titled “Sugar Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2019-2024”, the global sugar market size reached 187.9 Million Tons in 2018. On top of this, the industry is fighting tooth and nail to prevent public health officials from reducing sugar consumption.

More than 50 years ago, the industry leaders were paying the scientists to produce industry-friendly research, and they played a role in the anti-fat diet fads of the 1990s and 2000s, shifting the blame of obesity to other food products. In the past few years, though, a movement has emerged, led by nutrition scientists and doctors, to re-introduce science-based facts and stem the power of sugar. There’s increasing research linking sugar to a whole host of health issues, campaigns targeting the industry, and documentaries educating the public about sugar and the industry behind it.

However, there is no end to the power of money. And it is time the global food and beverage companies recognise the responsibility that comes along with the power they have. Knowingly selling a product that harms public health is irresponsible. The tobacco industry did this for decades and paid for it. Sugar is just as addictive, and potentially as harmful. It’s time for companies to cut back on sugar and sell healthier alternatives.

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The CSR Journal Team