You wouldn’t believe the fallout from the Nature article I told you about in last Friday’s Reality Health Check. In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap. The authors pointed out that Americans are eating unhealthy amounts of sugar. And they suggested a great way to solve the problem. Treat sugar like alcohol and tobacco and regulate it.
I couldn’t agree more. In fact, this is something I’ve been saying for a long time. But now that this idea is gaining steam, it’s ruffling more than a few feathers.
Let’s start with the most obvious opponent-The Sugar Association.
Charles Baker, PhD, the association’s chief scientific officer, said, “When the full body of science is evaluated…sugar intake is not a causative factor in any disease, including obesity.”
I’m not sure what “full body of science” he’s referring to. But ALL of the science I’ve seen says the exact opposite. It reminds me of what the tobacco industry said for years about cigarette smoking. (I can’t wait for the movie about this cover-up.)
Oh, and let’s not forget about the American Beverage Association. Here are their thoughts on this topic: “The comparison of sugar to alcohol and tobacco is simply without scientific merit.” And, “Suggesting age limits for purchasing sugary beverages is ‘extreme.'”
I beg to differ.
There’s simply no denying that sugar is addictive. (And, besides, when did the Beverage Association get the nerve to comment on science?)
The fact is, sugar stimulates the same “pleasure center” in the brain as nicotine and alcohol. We don’t let kids buy beer or cigarettes for those reasons (among others). But sugar? Sure, why not!
Well, here’s one more reason “why not”…
I know I focus heavily on the obesity angle. But too much sugar has been linked with health problems, even in people who are normal weight. And, no wonder. Sugar actually depletes the body of vitamins and minerals.
In other words, it can literally leech the “good stuff” that CAN keep you healthy out of your body.
If that doesn’t make it a dangerous substance that warrants stricter regulation, I don’t know what does.