13feb sugar hero
Research report
6 May 2014


How much sugar is OK to include in your diet?

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Steve R.
24 Oct 2015
Sugar tax: Not evidence based says Coleman

Minister of Health (in name only) Jonathan Coleman has refused to institute a sugar tax despite experts like Prof Sir Peter Gluckman predicting the diabetes epidemic needs to be addressed urgently. WHO agrees.
The sugar drinks industry applauded JC. No wonder; they have no compulsory requirement to display his lauded 5 star sugar rating as they clearly wouldn't get a rating. RTDs will always be exempted due to trade laws including the TPP which was always more important to the US and Japanese multinational companies than Kiwi exporters. Katherine Rich is still on the HPA and still represents the sugar industry as CEO of the Food and grocery council (FGC) Jonathan says we need to take the industry along in the decision making and need a representative on the Health promotions Agency. Well done JC. She did a great job promoting Health. Now your so called evidence based reforms:education, PE and sport regime and self responsibility mantra will leave us exactly where we are now; struggling to come first in the world for obesity. Anyone would think the sugar lobby comes first.

Renate S.
08 Oct 2019
About the sugar

Stop the nanny state. Educate! Prohibition of sugar or similar actions only entice to do the opposite, in particular in children, rebellious or hunting for status or just to be interesting amidst their peers. To the contrary, fame, status, a bit of pocket money, an hour on horseback, a special trip or excursion for children with no (or no new) caries at the dentist are more rewarding than prohibition.

Steve R.
24 Oct 2015
No RTDs in alcohol section and red wine

Why were RTDs or alcopops not listed with their sugar? A bit laughable to leave out the highest sugar -rated alcoholic drink isn't it?
Even more of a joke to list red wine as a tipple. Most of the kilojoules in wine come from the alcohol which exceeds sugar for harm and kilojoules. Isn't it "misleading" of consumer to hype the low sugar in red wine and ignore the carcinogenic ethanol. Isn't Consumer tipping the wine industry because it profits from it?

Previous member
27 Oct 2015
re: No RTDs in alcohol section and red wine

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your suggestion to add RTD alcoholic drinks to our table. The RTDs we've looked at have between 7 and 10 teaspoons of sugar per serve and we will be updating our table to include some of these products. The article is about the hidden sources of sugar, so we didn't state the alcohol content. However, we do note that alcoholic drinks contribute empty kilojoules because of their alcohol content.

Kind regards,

Consumer NZ staff

Ian M.
23 Oct 2015
The sugar Film

Highly recommend people watch this movie. Wow - what a wake up call for our family!

Anne S.
25 Aug 2014
It's not hidden, it

Superficially the sugar is 'hidden' but in fact it's not there to fool consumers, it's part of the preservative matrix that allows the pickle or sauce to keep. Have a look at recipes for pickles and sauces, they all contain high levels of sugar, it's not a new phenomenon, nor is the food manufacturer out to trick you. In fact, over the last 15 years or so, manfacturers of sauces and pickles have significantly reduced not only the sugar content of their products but also salt, which is why they all now need to be refrigerated after opening, because the preservative effect of those ingredients is not as strong at lower levels.

Charlie W.
25 May 2022

It's not that they're concealing the fact that the sugar exists in the product, though they do label quantities of ingredients and nutritional information by law rather than by custom, it's not that the article is arguing that all companies are putting too much sugar in things for their own malevolent ends, it's that the effects and quantities are not immediately apparent or comprehensible, and that there's little to no information incorporated into the education system about the effects of sugar on the human body. Yes, sugar is a cheap effective preservative no-ones denying that, but at the same time companies should understand the products they're selling, the greater the company, the greater the responsibility, and if there is something harmful about the product or the ingredient, then ignorance shouldn't be a defence, and responsibility has to be taken for what you're putting out into the world. If you're a company that puts cocaine in a soft drink and research comes out that cocaine is not particularly healthy for small children, then you stop putting the cocaine in the soft drink.

Karen M.
09 Jul 2014
Sugar in tomato sauce and chutney

I can't believe the amount of sugar hidden in these things.