September 4: Time to go to war on sugar in interest of health

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

NOW that diabetes, obesity and tooth decay are costing the NHS more than the effects of smoking, isn’t it time to declare outright war on sugar? Research suggests that even commercial baby foods contain only sweet-tasting fruit and vegetables and may be encouraging an aversion in children to all that is not sweet (“Tots put off greens by sweet baby food”, The Yorkshire Post, August 31).

Sadly, many parents empathise with children who can’t wait for their dessert. How often do you see spurned salad or vegetables on adults’ plates left at a restaurant?

At best some parents bribe their kids with goodies to make them eat at least some of their main course. This sends the message that green vegetables and lean meat (which can be delicious) are a penance to be endured before the enjoyment of the “best bit”. Chefs and so-called weight-watching experts shirk the issue by counselling that sweet foods and drinks should be regarded as a “treats” instead of the menace they really are. Sugar is the most overrated of nutrients. There is more than enough of it in our staple diet already to fulfil our needs.

The sort of horribly graphic publicity which was part of the anti-smoking campaign could now be aimed at sugar.