Festive season sugar-rush

Chocolate will be among the favourite items this upcoming festive season. REUTERS/Dave Kaup (US – Tags: BUSINESS FOOD)

Chocolate will be among the favourite items this upcoming festive season. REUTERS/Dave Kaup (US – Tags: BUSINESS FOOD)

Published Nov 30, 2022


Durban – With the festive season fast approaching, millions of consumers are expected to purchase sweets and food that is high in sugar.

During this time, producers employ an aggressive marketing strategy that draws consumers to excessively spend on processed foods.

The Healthy Living Alliance (HEALA) is an organisation that aims at promoting healthy eating.

HEALA recently released a statement that encourages consumers not to fall for aggressive advertising strategies and to focus on eating healthier.

“The festive season is a key time where consumers fall prey to aggressive advertising campaigns by large food companies promoting foods that are full in flavour but low in nutritional value.

“That is why we strongly encourage consumers to focus on eating real, unprocessed foods over the upcoming holidays,” says Nzama Mbalati, programmes manager at HEALA.

“Over the past 30 to 40 years, highly processed and unhealthy foods have become increasingly accessible and affordable, leading to a global increase in lifestyle diseases such as: diabetes, heart disease and obesity – especially in the poorest and most vulnerable communities and households,” he continues.

The Healthy Living Alliance provides a guide to what’s in our food. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Producers strategically advertise their items during peak hours – where television shows are being consumed by the family – and these items usually target the young.

Most of the highly processed foods (sweets, biscuits) are high in sugar and highly addictive.

Producers know this and use it as a tactic to try to maximise their profits.

Another problem faced is how some products are wrongfully labelled as ‘low fat’ or ‘high protein’.

These items are wrongfully labelled as there is no authority responsible for labelling.

“No matter what the front of the food package promises you – from lowering your cholesterol or being made with whole grains – ignore it.

“Those messages are marketing claims and may be deceptive.

“Instead, you need to pay attention to what is on the side or back of the package.

“What’s on the front is purely a sales pitch.

“The nutrition panel and ingredient list is where you'll find what’s really in the product.

“That’s where you can check how much sugar, salt and fat it contains;” says Mbalati.

According to HEALA, alternatives to maintain low sugar levels include eating fruit.

They also recommend avoiding soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

Daily News

Related Topics:

SugarHealth Welfare