With or without sugar, the disastrous effects of sodas on health

In New Caledonia, diabetes, caused by too much sugar, is the main cause of long illness. And sugary or watered down beverages are particularly in the crosshairs of health officials. Explanations.


In 2013, the “Lurel” law highlighted the staggering sugar content of lemonades sold abroad: up to 30% more than in mainland France. Although the text was never extended to New Caledonia, manufacturers claim to have since adopted a policy of reducing the sugar content in the products they make.

“We depend on international recipes for international brands that we produce locally, explains Marie-Amélie Molia from GBNC. A certain number of them are already registered in this approach and it can sometimes go up to 50% reduction of the sugar content in the recipes. For local brands, GBNC claims to have adopted this approach as well, with around 40-45% sugar reduction.

The company Le Froid, which is the producer of Coca Cola in particular, did not want to answer us.

In order to be able to reduce the sugar content, many brands use substitutes. This is the case for drinks with no added sugar, such as those containing the sweeteners E950 (aspartame) and E951 (acesulfame).

However, these chemicals are hazardous to health even if they don’t raise blood sugar levels. “Sweeteners are also sweeteners that have the benefit of not raising blood sugar.explains Emilie Simonet, nutritionist, but unfortunately, these synthetic chemicals will perpetuate sugar cravings and also stimulate appetite, urging you to snack afterwards. “

Not only do these sweeteners stimulate appetite and keep cravings going, they also lead to an increased risk of cancer, according to Inserm. So, drinking sugary drinks or sodas is a dangerous habit for your health. “We have really big health problems right now, continues Emilie Simonet, with diabetics getting younger and younger, after all these drinks are offered to children at an early age when they do not need them. Sodas aren’t juice, they’re just water with added sugar, coloring and flavoring. And that’s a problem for later.”

Politicians have been discussing the introduction of a sugar tax for several years. Unfortunately, that’s wishful thinking for now. “All over the world there is this famous tax on sugary drinks that will make consumers consume less, but above all manufacturers to review the formulation of the products offered to the population, notes Doctor Dominique Megraoua, prevention doctor at the Health and Social Agency. LCaledonia has fallen behind a bit, we can imagine that it is part of the arsenal of laws that enable policies to improve the environment and choice for Caledonians.”

Caring for diabetics costs our social accounts 10 billion a year. A more balanced diet and more restrictive measures for manufacturers could help reduce the RUAMM deficit.

The report by Brigitte Whaap and Claude Lindor:

©New Caledonia

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