What too much sugar does to your body — in pictures


We all have a good idea of how alcohol can affect our body, but what about sugar? A new tool developed by Benenden outlines the effect that sugar has on the body of the average man, woman and five-year-old child, in a bid to educate customers about a healthy diet.

The tool focuses on how sugar affects skin, teeth, liver, kidneys and the heart, as well as other areas of the body, so the whole family can be educated in the impact of high sugar consumption.

For adults, the obvious effects are weight gain and tooth decay. But sugar can also affect skin, lowering the levels of collagen which can potentially lead to wrinkles. Hair follicles can also shrink, making hair weaker. In addition, too much sugar can affect the liver, kidney and pancreas as high levels of sugar puts different pressures on each of these organs.

The tool also shows what happens to a five-year-old child when they consume too much sugar — potentially the prime consumer for sweet treats and foods. As well as harm to teeth, eating too much sugar regularly can weaken a child’s immune system. With excessive sugar consumption contributing to weight gain and obesity, it can also have an impact on bones and deficiencies in vitamin D and calcium. Overall, the child can become more prone to diabetes as the body tries to regulate the amount of sugar going into the body.

Dr John Giles, medical director at Benenden, said: ‘Sugar is a food that is often hard to resist, and cutting sugar out of your diet can be challenging. The tool provides a guide on how sugar can affect the body if above average amounts are consumed for a long period of time. The main problem underpinning this is obesity, which sugar can contribute to heavily, and this can lead to other problems with the body.’

This article was originally published by Benenden.