Oh, sugar. You are pure evil. We dino-chow people know it. You know it. And now the rest of the world seems to be waking up to your underlying malevolence.
The February 2 edition of Science Daily includes an article called “Societal Control of Sugar Essential to Ease Public Health Burden, Experts Urge.” It’s an overview of an article published in the journal Nature that basically outs sugar as a big-time baddie in its causal relationship with non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Written by a group of endocrinologists, sociologists, and public health advocates, the piece argues that “Added sweeteners pose dangers to health that justify controlling them like alcohol….”
Here are some sweet quotes that I enjoyed chewing on…
Sugar… is far from just “empty calories” that make people fat. At the levels consumed by most Americans, sugar changes metabolism, raises blood pressure, critically alters the signaling of hormones and causes significant damage to the liver — the least understood of sugar’s damages. These health hazards largely mirror the effects of drinking too much alcohol, which they point out in their commentary is the distillation of sugar.
“As long as the public thinks that sugar is just ‘empty calories,’ we have no chance in solving this,” said [Robert] Lustig, a professor of pediatrics, in the division of endocrinology at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and director of the Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (WATCH) Program at UCSF.
“There are good calories and bad calories, just as there are good fats and bad fats, good amino acids and bad amino acids, good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates,” Lustig said. “But sugar is toxic beyond its calories.”
“There is an enormous gap between what we know from science and what we practice in reality,” said [Laura] Schmidt, professor of health policy at UCSF’s Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies…. “In order to move the health needle, this issue needs to be recognized as a fundamental concern at the global level,” she said.
“We’re not talking prohibition,” Schmidt said. “We’re not advocating a major imposition of the government into people’s lives. We’re talking about gentle ways to make sugar consumption slightly less convenient, thereby moving people away from the concentrated dose. What we want is to actually increase people’s choices by making foods that aren’t loaded with sugar comparatively easier and cheaper to get.”
I encourage you to read the whole piece at Science Daily. (The Nature article is available to purchase for $32 if you want to read the original.)
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