EChO / HSF Public Health Partnership

EChO / HSF Public Health Partnership


Two nonprofit organizations, the EChO – Eradicate Childhood Obesity Foundation (EChO), and the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation (HSF), have joined in partnership to offer a most comprehensive list of sugars called the “Added Sugar Repository.” Developed by the EChO team as a service to the public health field, the added sugar list is important because these sugars are the leading marker for unhealthy processed foods and they are present in 75% of the foods and beverages consumed in the United States.

The Added Sugar Repository (ASR) extends beyond the information provided by the FDA and includes identified names and specific examples of U.S. food products for each added sugar. The ASR currently includes 262 names for sugar used in processed foods and beverages.

The average American currently consumes 17 teaspoons (71 grams) every day. That translates into about 57 pounds of added sugar consumed each year, per person. The World Health Organization has made consistent recommendations on limiting daily sugar intake. Likewise, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men. The AHA limits for children vary depending on their age and caloric needs, but range between 3 and 6 teaspoons (12 to 25 grams) per day. 

For many years, added sugars were not listed on food labels causing a significant gap in knowledge in the general public. With the new FDA rule requiring added sugar to be listed on nutrition labels, we have a new opportunity to see what is really in our food. However, the food industry has already found loopholes that allow them to obfuscate or hide sugar content. The ASR helps the consumer understand the proliferating range of complicated and confusing terms being used for sugar, and informs consumers so they can make conscious food choices when shopping or eating out. Since the food industry actively develops new names for added sugar, consumers are encouraged to report new names not currently on the list and to join with a growing list of volunteers who support the Sugar Matrix project.

Since 2015, EChO has developed technology, mobile applications such as Sugar Poke, Sugar Mon, Sugar Mon Fight and projects that use science and open knowledge, storytelling, and awareness-building campaigns that work toward changing the narrative in impactful ways that engage, enlighten, and transform health. EChO also created original recipes that are simple, quick, healthy and more affordable than fast food from national chains. They offer no-added-sugar alternatives to processed foods that traditionally contain large amounts of hidden sugars. The EChO recipes provide ideas on how to feed a family of 4 for under $10.

EChO is closing, effective March 31, 2020, and is transfering key educational assets to the HSF. 

Wolfram Alderson, CEO of the HSF, acknowledged the contributions of EChO to the public health field: “We applaud EChO’s mission and approach to ending childhood obesity – a growing issue in the U.S. and globally. Education is important in all communities, especially where resources to make healthy eating choices are scarce. All too often, vulnerable children and communities are targets for deceptive marketing by the processed food industry. EChO’s interventions have fostered awareness, knowledge and action, and we are honored to continue the impactful educational programs they have initiated. The HSF has partnered with EChO to help expose the devious ways the food industry hides the many confusing and covert names for added sugar. EChO has shared our passion to make the food system more transparent, and to educate consumers with actionable intelligence. We are honored to carry forward their vital work” 

Laurent Adamowicz, Founder of EChO said: “I thank from the bottom of my heart our team members, volunteers, and Board Directors, who since 2015 have contributed to drawing awareness to what constitutes healthy nutrition. We have served thousands of families and individuals by offering practical solutions to avoid added sugar in their diet and improve their well-being. Today, we are thrilled to partner with the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation to take over our assets including the Added Sugar Repository, the mobile applications Sugar Poke, Sugar Mon, and Sugar Mon Fight designed for children, and the EChO healthy affordable recipes. HSF is an organization that can successfully use these tools for the purpose we designed – to support the children, families, and communities we served in leading healthier and happier lives.

For more information, contact

Wolfram Alderson
[email protected]

Added Sugar Repository link:

Dor Mullen, Your gifts have been received.

Dor Mullen, Your gifts have been received.

My mother was a poet and one of her many gifts, near the end of her life, was this simple yet powerful sentence:

“We come here to love and to learn.”

When I think about Dorothy (Dor) Mullen and her influence on my life, that sentence comes up.

I vividly remember meeting Dor. I had been invited by Peter Herz of FoodSystem6 to present with a gathering of thought leaders at a food systems conference in San Francisco, held August 18, 2015. When I entered the event space, there was a large conference table in the center of the room and the first person I noticed was Dor. I read energy or auras or whatever you want to call it, and Dor’s energy was off the hook. There was a seat next to her and I sat down…we instantly started chatting away and I was hooked in a matter of minutes, before the presentations began. Her spirit, her passion, and energy were infectious…anyone who knew her knows what I mean. 

Wolfram, Dor, and Leslie

Dor gave her presentation, and I have to admit, if I had only seen the ‘academic version’ of The Suppers Programs being presented, I don’t think I would have gotten it. The Suppers Programs is amazing, but the best way to understand it is to experience it, because it is a “community model” and that means what it means! Nonetheless, I was intrigued, and I went and met with Dor before she left San Francisco. I realized I had met a Soul Sister! Six months later I joined with a colleague and another Soul Sister, Leslie Sutton Lee, a Registered Dietitian, to fly to New Jersey for a special facilitator training that Dor put together just for us. We stayed at Dor’s home and she introduced us to many of the wonderful people in The Suppers Programs inner circle. I wrote shortly thereafter that Suppers has discovered the Holy Grail of Lifestyle Change.

I wrote an article “It’s about Love” on The Suppers Programs website at Dor’s request and she also included it in her 2nd Edition of Logical Miracles. While Dor was meticulous in spelling out what The Suppers Programs is and how it works in her books and on the website, the one element – the “secret sauce” – that wasn’t spelled out, was the tremendous amount of love she poured into all she did, and the love vibrating and flowing through the community she inspired and literally and spiritually fed. It was everywhere, in Dor’s kitchen, in the recipes, in all The Suppers Programs practices, and in every member who participated. 

At the time, I was busy building a national nutrition advocacy organization I founded with Dr. Robert Lustig. I have to admit though, the thought ran through my head of running away to New Jersey to just hang out with The Suppers Programs and to spend more time in Dor’s kitchen learning. Well, I know there are many of us now who know our job is to carry forward Dor’s work (now our work) and to spread the Suppers model around. 

With all due respect to the citizens of the Garden State, The Suppers Programs should be shared and replicated throughout the whole world. There are over 100,000 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) programs in 175 different countries, and over 60,000 in the U.S. alone. It is well-known that Bill Wilson, the founder of AA, toward the end of his life, tried to express how important nutrition was, since he himself suffered from reactive hypoglycemia. Since then, the connection between hypoglycemia and alcoholism has been well-established. Unfortunately, few paid attention to Bill, and some even mocked him. Dor did pay attention. Dor’s training (Masters degree in Addiction Counseling) was one reason she was able to see the fundamental blind spot in treating addiction – nutrition. Alcoholism averages between .05 to 5 percent of the population by country… but everyone has to eat, and we know that only 12% of the population is metabolically healthy (at least in the U.S.). So, I’m quite serious when I say there should be a chapter of The Suppers Programs in every community, or, at the very least, incorporated into community-based programs that are already out there (such as AA).

While developing an infographic on hypoglycemia for the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, where I currently serve as CEO, I contacted Dor for a quote. It became the featured quote for the infographic:

“Congratulations, you may have received the gift of hypoglycemia. Because long before you get type 2 diabetes or heart disease, low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, sends you insistent warnings, like a “canary in a coal mine” while you still have time to save yourself. The gift messages take many forms: anxiety, depression, physical and mental fatigue, brain fog and cravings — all with the same greeting: ‘Change while there is still time.” Assuming you listen and act, it could save you a lifetime of suffering.”
– Dorothy Mullen, The Suppers Programs

The quote she provided was so typical of Dor and her whole approach to diet and lifestyle change: seeing the “gifts” in what seems to be a burden, seeing the root cause versus the symptoms, and flipping the perspective so you could see your ‘dis-ease’ as a blessing and not a curse – as long as you pay attention to it. When disease caught up with Dor personally, she practiced what she preached and took the “opportunity” to educate, producing dozens of videos inspired by her own process of dying while living life to the max right up to her moment of passing. That’s a tough act to follow as they say, but I don’t think I’m alone in the feeling that Dor left us all with a mission, inspired by her vision, and I’m going to do my best to fulfill it. 

Another line my poet mother gave me was “Your gifts shall be received.”

Dor, your gifts have been received. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Dor Mullen

Learn more about The Suppers Programs, the organization and movement that Dor inspired here.

Click here to read a Tribute to Dorothy Smith Mullen from The Board of Trustees of The Suppers Programs

It takes courage…

It takes courage…

“No one understands the stress of the spouse or significant other. I believe that more than the patient, the spouse or significant other needs a lot of emotional support. They’re not considered sick. They’re not considered ill. They’re healthy. They are strong. For the spouse, it’s sometimes a job to care for the hypoglycemic, yet there’s no pay, no bonuses, no pat on the back and sometimes no appreciation. So many are suffering emotionally themselves, and therapy of any kind could be of great value.”  – Dr. Hewitt Bruce

It is often written between the pages of The Do’s and Don’ts of Hypoglycemia: An Everyday Guide to Low Blood Sugar that this condition is “the most confusing, complicated, misunderstood and too often misdiagnosed conditions of the 21st century.” That being said, it makes sense that not only does this condition affect the patient but those that are closely involved…from the spouse, significant other…to even the parents and siblings.

The following interpersonal story (excerpted from Living with Hypoglycemia, Journal of General Internal Medicine) of a low blood sugar reaction was told by a 25-year-old woman:

“My boyfriend has had to deal with several [hypoglycemic episodes] recently. And initially, it was very tough on him… I’d be upset that he recognized that I was low and I didn’t, and that he was in control. And all sorts of issues that are tenuous in our relationship would start to come up. And I’d be very mean to him and shun him and tell him to just go away. Let me deal with it on my own. He’d feel incredibly hurt. And then I’d reject treatment from him, and he’d feel like I was calling our whole relationship off. And then once the sugar kicked in 20 minutes later, I was all happy and excited and cheery, and he couldn’t understand it, and he’d say, “Wait, 20 minutes ago you were telling me to go. What is this?” He’d be very hurt. And so there’d be a big long discussion.”

When a patient is diagnosed with reactive/functional hypoglycemia, their world is often turned upside-down. Many hope for an “overnight” remedy and realize that it could take weeks, months, or even years of sorting through the mass of confusing and complicated information. Due to the unfamiliarity with the stages of recuperation, the controversy surrounding its treatment, and non-acceptance from many in the medical community, too many find themselves feeling they’re the only person in the world suffering from this baffling disease.   

So, can success come to the patient and those closely associated with them? Of course!  But not without a plan. It takes a “village” to totally heal from any illness, whether mild, severe or life-threatening. Getting that village together is the secret…and doing it when you are well is even better…eliminating time, stress and unforeseen emergencies. 

Perhaps you have been diagnosed with reactive/ functional hypoglycemia, and started a hypoglycemia diet, or incorporated a vitamin and exercise program…and believe you’ve done everything you can think of – yet, you still feel mentally and emotionally lost?  If you’ve done some or all of the above and still not seeing an improvement; if your spouse or significant other feels helpless and doesn’t know what to do; if the family situation is getting worse instead of better, it may be time to consider professional help in some form of therapy.

For many today, it’s not “Are you going for therapy?” but “Who are you going to?” 

“Therapy” has thankfully reached a level of society-wide acceptance – and there are many different types to choose from. Some are seeking counseling to prevent minor problems from becoming major ones, some are seeking direction as to where they want to go in life, while others are trying to reclaim their lives entirely. 

If you decide to get therapy…how do you choose…where do you start? There are different types of therapy available from psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers, hypnotherapists and the clergy. If you’re uncomfortable starting there, perhaps you can begin by sharing your fears and concerns with your present health care provider. You might even consider a trusted friend. Whoever you decide to open up to, the first step is the hardest but the benefits can be most rewarding. The suggestion of seeing a therapist or the idea of having a mental health issue should not carry a stigma; we live in a modern age where seeking professional help for mental or physical health issues is perfectly acceptable and normal. Many of us, whether we are dealing with a health challenge or not, can benefit from some form of therapy where we can address issues, problems, or concerns that start to manage and control us instead of us controlling them.

Author Marianne Williamson sums it up: 

“It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”