The Next Order: Trends Ahead

Sugar Busting Is Back

Jan 1, 2005
Outside Magazine

IF 2004's AXIS OF DIETARY EVIL rotated around bread, well, hold on to your bacon, dear consumer, because the packaged-foods industry is about to pull a bait-and-switch down at your local Piggly Wiggly. In the coming months, watch for the omnipresent low carb labels to quietly recede from store shelves as that fad finally, blessedly collapses under a mountain of celery sticks. In its place, expect the makers of everything from cereals to juice to pancake syrup to hit sedentary Americans with a new fast-fix stamp: low sugar. Wait, is this 1981? With that year's FDA approval of aspartame, the whole country went on a sugar-free high that lasted until the fat-gram-counting craze of the nineties. But things will be different this time around, according to Bob Goldin, vice president of the Chicago-based food-biz consultancy Technomic. "There's a new concern about the staggering amount of sugar we're consuming, which has continued to escalate over the past 20 years," he says. Low-carb mania has evolved to identify sugar—a carb—as the real devil in the details. Its alarming abundance, hidden in everything from soda to teriyaki sauce, has prompted a slew of new products that either cut that sugar content way down or swap it for a lower-impact substitute, like Splenda. Mind the sugar intake, but remember: Exercise works wonders, too.

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