I am going to go without refined sugar in March

Ted Hsu
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The World Health Organization has just published a draft guideline with the suggestion that not more than 5% of one’s calories come from sugars, as compared to the more conservative “recommendation” that not more then 10% of calories come from sugars.


A draft report has been posted online and the public comment period is March 5 to March 31.

According to Statistics Canada and Vital Signs 2012, published by the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area, roughly half of all females and two-thirds of all males in this area are overweight or obese. Obesity has been called an “epidemic” in Canada. It is connected with a wide range of serious health risks, including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, according to Health Canada.

There are many determinants of health, but two factors that the average person can control are diet and physical activity.

The American Heart Association recently recommended that men consume no more than 150 calories per day of added sugar (35 grams), and women, 100 calories (25 grams). That, according to Statistics Canada, is about one-third of the average Canadian’s consumption.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that adults engage in 2.5 hours a week in physical activity.

I believe that this is an important issue for governments at all levels, that deserves all the public profile that it can get.

So, given that I just had my 50th birthday this past Tuesday March 4, and the period of Lent began on Ash Wednesday March 5, I think that during the WHO public comment period of March 5 to March 31, I will try to do two things:

1) Eliminate all refined sugars from my diet.
2) stick to 2.5 hours of physical activity a week.

I don’t expect this will be easy but I believe that I will learn from the experience.