Ask the Expert: Sugar & Diabetes explained with sugar sculptures
World-renowned sculptors, Brendan Jamison and Mark Revels, are helping raise awareness about sugar and its relationship to diabetes by traveling across America on a two-and-a-half month project.
"We've both been affected by sugar in our own lives," said sculptor Brendan Jamison. "My own father has type 2 diabetes and Mark's grandmother actually died from diabetes."
They're using their talents as sculptors to call attention to sugar with, what else, sugar! At all of their stops they're creating a building that's iconic to the area. For Utah, they created a sugar cubed delicate arch as well as a beehive.
"We've used about 60,000 sugar cubes so far," said sculptor Mark Revels.
They estimate one they reach their 15th and final stop, they'll used close to 70,000 sugar cubes in total.
What is the relationship between sugar and type 2 diabetes?
"When you eat foods that are high in sugar, that causes an increase in your blood sugar, and that leads to an increased insulin response," explains Intermountain Medical Center clinical dietitian Jannifer Abernathy. "Over time, that cycle can lead to excess weight gain or fat deposits, and that's one of those things that puts you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes."
This is why it's crucial to pay attention to added sugars in your diet. The World Health Organization recommends consuming no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day. For references, one 12 oz can of soda contains about eight teaspoons of added sugar.
So if it takes a sculpture to remind you about the potential danger of added sugars, then Brendan and Mark says they've done their job.
"It's not just about going into an art gallery and seeing art," said Jamison. "This has actually got a much deeper meaning that can actually help make a change."