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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening, etc

At the end of January my doctor told me that I am diabetic -- among other things. I have type two diabetes which is being controlled by a combination of diet and medication. I count myself fortunate that the NHS surgery where I am a patient. They have modern facilities and a staff committed to preventive medicine. It was because the surgery initiated contact with me suggesting that I should have a routine blood test that my diabetes was diagnosed. I am also exempt from having to pay for my prescriptions. (Eat your heart out America!)

But now here is the rub. After discussions about the diet I should follow and how to read sugar levels on packets of food, etc. I have discovered the shocking levels of sugar in the food that we buy in the UK. And especially breakfast cereals. Two cold cereals in particular amazed me with their high sugar content -- higher than what a diabetic should eat -- mixed grain Cheerios and Kellogg's Special K. In the U.S. these cereals have no sugar, but here they are sugar coated. In fact, it is very difficult indeed to find sugarless cereals in this country.

It seems to me that it would behoove the makers/distributors of these cereals to make the sugarless -- or nearly sugarless -- versions available to a population that needs to have this choice. More and more of us are going to be diagnosed with diabetes as the population ages and already the studies of obesity in the population at large indicate that we need to be ingesting a lot less of the stuff.

How about it, Nestles? How about it, Kellogs?

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