According to recent reports, the beverage industry spent a lot of money to defeat soda taxes in four American cities, but it lost in all. It means San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, Calif., and Boulder, Colo. join Berkeley, Calif., and Philadelphia will plan to tax sugary beverages.
The measures have been advanced by health experts looking for methods that might combat obesity, diabetes and tooth decay — all linked to soft drink consumption. Consequently, sales are down, and many people now avoid sugar added products. Health experts determined that 50 grams of added sugars should be the upper dietary limit, or daily value, for adults and children aged 4 and older.
As experts in skin care, Herbally Radiant advises customers to reduce sugar intake. A diet high in sugar is a disaster for the face. ‘There is no point in spending lots of money on expensive skin creams if you are eating a diet high in sugar,’ says Dr Aamer Khan, a cosmetic dermatologist, and medical director of the Harley Street Skin Clinic. 'Yes, you can protect and moisturise your skin from outside, but you need to feed and stimulate the growth of good strong skin cells from inside too and sugar will sabotage that.’
According to Dr. Ross Perry, a cosmetic physician at Cosmedics Clinic, London, the problem with sugar is that it makes the skin lose the plump, elastic qualities that underlie a youthful appearance. ‘This is due to a process called glycation. Essentially what happens is that sugar attaches itself to any protein in the body and produces harmful molecules called ‘advanced glycation end products’. These reduce the effectiveness of elastin and collagen, proteins in the skin that help maintain its youthful appearance. ‘Normally collagen bulks out the skin and gives it a younger plump look,’ says Dr Perry. ‘Elastin gives the skin recoil so that when you smile or frown your skin goes back to how it was. If you persistently eat a high-sugar diet, then the collagen and elastin will become more rigid, so it will become easier for wrinkles to form and the skin will lose that youthful plumpness. It also makes it harder for the cells in the skin to repair normal damage.’
A high-sugar diet reduces the quality of the collagen in the skin too. ‘There are different types of collagen, known as I, II and III, and for healthy looking-skin you need the correct blend of all of these,’ says dermatologist Dr Perry. ‘Sugar encourages type III collagen to become type I which is more brittle. Consequently, the skin breaks down and looks thinner and more wrinkly. It also becomes more prone to the damaging effects of the environment and UV rays.’
Aging signs and breakouts: Those suffering from frequent break outs, sugar causes increased inflammation. “Most people don’t realize that skin directly correlates to our digestive system,” says Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection. “If we eat something we can’t digest or have trouble digesting, there are consequences.” However, not everyone is affected the same way. “Some people claim their acne gets worse when they have chocolate or sugar and others notice no change,” says Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Co-director of the Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, Washington, D.C.
Long-term effects of excess sugar include premature aging and scarring. Sugar attaches to proteins in the bloodstream, forming new molecules, called advanced glycation end products (or AGEs), that damage both collagen and elastin, contributing to sagging and wrinkles. AGEs also deactivate natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving the skin more susceptible to sun damage. According to a 2007 study in the British Journal of Dermatology, these effects increase at the age of 35 and continue rapidly as you age.