Sugar: The New Tobacco?
MATTHEWS, NC- Disney takes on childhood obesity. It will no longer allow junk food ads on it's children's networks, radio stations and websites.
Local experts say cutting out sugar is the hottest health craze.
"Every couple years, there's a new tobacco. It's sugar now. It was fats 20 years ago," said Judy Fischer, personal nutritionist and owner of My Diabetes Dietitian, Inc.
Fischer says manufacturers are pushing sugar-free products and alternatives more now than ever.
"Some research shows that artificial sweeteners actually increase belly fat. So, are diet sodas really helping us? I don't think so," said Fischer.
Jessica Gray takes her kids to get frozen yogurt instead of ice cream to reduce sugar intake.
"It's just such a natural choice. The ingredients... crushed ice which is just the fruit and the ice and no sugar added at all," said Fischer.
Fischer says Disney's choice to cut fruit drinks, candy and snack cakes from their ads is another in-your-face push to cut out sugar for kids.
"It's in commercials. It's in products. They coupon for it. They put it in ads everywhere so it gets you thinking," said Jessica Gray, Matthew’s resident.
Manufacture pushes towards no and low sugar could be working. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Americans consumed less sugar in 2010 than they did in 1999.
"I see manufacturers working harder, but I still think that no one is recognizing the fact that it can't be all or nothing," said Fischer.
Regarding Disney's decision, some say it sends a strong anti-sugar message.
“This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children," said First Lady Michelle Obama.
Right now, a third of children are overweight or obese. Doctors say that puts them at a greater risk for type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and other serious health problems.