According to the German Nutrition Society, the average sugar consumption in Germany is far above the recommended amounts. Excessive sugar consumption can lead to a variety of negative effects, such as an increased risk of developing overweight and obesity (fat liver).
It can also promote the development of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and indirectly increase the risk of various cancers. In addition, excessive sugar consumption contributes to the development of dental caries.
The risk for the development of obesity and fatty liver disease
In particular, frequent and high consumption of sugary beverages increases the risk of weight gain and the development of obesity. Unlike sugary foods, beverage sugars do not contribute to satiety. The body metabolizes sugar quickly and stores it for later. First, glycogen stores in the liver and muscles are replenished before the body converts the sugar into fat and stores it as a fat deposit. At the same time, high insulin and blood sugar levels signal that there is enough energy in the body to keep the fat in storage.
If one continues to consume a lot of sugar and exercise little, the body will store more and more fat and not break down existing fat deposits. An imbalance between sugar intake and consumption causes the excess sugar to be stored in fat cells. These fat cells multiply not only in the adipose tissue but also in the liver and can thus cause enlargement of the liver, also known as non-alcoholic fatty liver.
Caries as a direct consequence
Children are taught at an early age that excessive consumption of sugar and sweets has a negative impact on dental health. This is because the bacteria in the plaque convert the sugar into acid, which attacks the tooth enamel and can thus cause tooth decay. If we consume more sugar through food and sweetened beverages and dental hygiene is inadequate, the risk of dental caries increases significantly.
Risk factor for cancer
The German Cancer Research Center and similar institutions speak of an indirect link between sugar and cancer risk, as increased sugar intake promotes the development of obesity. However, it is important to note that excessive sugar consumption is not the only factor in weight gain.
In addition, a diet too high in fat, excessive alcohol consumption, and a lack of exercise play a significant role. Current findings show that overweight and obesity in particular can increase the risk of at least thirteen types of cancer. For this reason, the German Cancer Society also recommends reducing sugar consumption as part of a health-promoting diet.