The new report from the federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is in and it makes for pretty alarming reading.

Sugar consumption is a key culprit in why the American diet has been cited “devastating” by the panel, which convenes every five years.

Recommendations in sugar reduction have been issued as a matter of urgency, with roughly two-thirds of American adults, almost 155 million people, reported as overweight or obese.

Tackling obesity

Obesity is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes, with obese people up to 80 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those with a BMI of less than 22.

As well as reducing sugar in the American diet, a soda tax has been recommended in the committee’s latest report. The revenues from this tax, it has been suggested, could then financially support greater implementation of healthy fruits and vegetables.

“Higher sugar-sweetened-beverage taxes may encourage consumers to reduce sugar-sweetened-beverage consumption,” the 571-page report said, which was released on Thursday February 19.

Roughly 117 million Americans have one or more preventable chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and these were called “major public health concerns” by the panel.

The committee also targeted added sugar in their report, which is commonly found in soda and processed foods, with the abundance of fructose added to these foods linked to soaring rates of type 2 diabetes.

Nutritional guidelines

Other recommendations from the committee’s report included Americans eating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains, but limiting red meat consumption.

The recommendations from the panel can be quite impactful, which will inevitably be causing stirs within sugar companies across America.

Decisions made by the government can be influenced by the report, such as implementing nutritional changes to lunches served in schools.

The US departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services will assess the panel’s recommends when they develop new federal nutrition guidelines at the end of the year.

Do you think there is too much sugar available in America? Do you think new guidelines need to be published that impose a tax on soda? Let us know your thoughts!