Sugar Should Be Regulated As Toxin, Researchers Say

Party Rooster

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Sure, it's a toxin...but it's no aspartame!

Sugar Should Be Regulated As Toxin, Researchers Say

Christopher Wanjek, LiveScience Bad Medicine Columnist
Date: 01 February 2012

Sugar is toxic to the human body, and as such, should be regulated as strictly as alcohol, researchers now say.

A spoonful of sugar might make the medicine go down. But it also makes blood pressure and cholesterol go up, along with your risk for liver failure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Sugar and other sweeteners are, in fact, so toxic to the human body that they should be regulated as strictly as alcohol by governments worldwide, according to a commentary in the current issue of the journal Nature by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

The researchers propose regulations such as taxing all foods and drinks that include added sugar, banning sales in or near schools and placing age limits on purchases.

Although the commentary might seem straight out of the Journal of Ideas That Will Never Fly, the researchers cite numerous studies and statistics to make their case that added sugar — or, more specifically, sucrose, an even mix of glucose and fructose found in high-fructose corn syrup and in table sugar made from sugar cane and sugar beets — has been as detrimental to society as alcohol and tobacco.

Sour words about sugar

The background is well-known: In the United States, more than two-thirds of the population is overweight, and half of them are obese. About 80 percent of those who are obese will have diabetes or metabolic disorders and will have shortened lives, according to the UCSF authors of the commentary, led by Robert Lustig. And about 75 percent of U.S. health-care dollars are spent on diet-related diseases, the authors said.

Worldwide, the obese now greatly outnumber the undernourished, according to the World Health Organization. Obesity is a public health problem in most countries. And chronic diseases related to diet such as heart diseases, diabetes and some cancers — for the first time in human history — kill more people than infectious diseases, according to the United Nations.

Less known, and still debated, is sugar's role in the obesity and chronic disease pandemic. From an evolutionary perceptive, sugar in the form of fruit was available only a few months of the year, at harvest time, the UCSF researchers said. Similarly, honey was guarded by bees and therefore was a treat, not a dietary staple. [6 Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits & Veggies]

Today, added sugar, as opposed to natural sugars found in fruits, is often added in foods ranging from soup to soda. Americans consume on average more than 600 calories per day from added sugar, equivalent to a whopping 40 teaspoons. "Nature made sugar hard to get; man made it easy," the researchers write.

Many researchers are seeing sugar as not just "empty calories," but rather a chemical that becomes toxic in excess. At issue is the fact that glucose from complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, is safely metabolized by cells throughout the body, but the fructose element of sugar is metabolized primarily by the liver. This is where the trouble can begin — taxing the liver, causing fatty liver disease, and ultimately leading to insulin resistance, the underlying causes of obesity and diabetes.

Added sugar, more so than the fructose in fiber-rich fruit, hits the liver more directly and can cause more damage — in laboratory rodents, anyway. Some researchers, however, remained unconvinced of the evidence of sugar's toxic effect on the human body at current consumption levels, as high as they are.

Economists to the rescue

Lustig, a medical doctor in UCSF's Department of Pediatrics, compares added sugar to tobacco and alcohol (coincidentally made from sugar) in that it is addictive, toxic and has a negative impact on society, thus meeting established public health criteria for regulation. Lustig advocates a consumer tax on any product with added sugar.

Among Lustig's more radical proposals are to ban the sale of sugary drinks to children under age 17 and to tighten zoning laws for the sale of sugary beverages and snacks around schools and in low-income areas plagued by obesity, analogous to alcoholism and alcohol regulation.

Economists, however, debate as to whether a consumer tax — such as a soda tax proposed in many U.S. states — is the most effective means of curbing sugar consumption. Economists at Iowa State University led by John Beghin suggest taxing the sweetener itself at the manufacturer level, not the end product containing sugar.

This concept, published last year in the journal Contemporary Economic Policy, would give companies an incentive to add less sweetener to their products. After all, high-fructose corn syrup is ubiquitous in food in part because it is so cheap and serves as a convenient substitute for more high-quality ingredients, such as fresher vegetables in processed foods.

Some researchers argue that saturated fat, not sugar, is the root cause of obesity and chronic disease. Others argue that it is highly processed foods with simple carbohydrates. Still others argue that it is a lack of physical exercise. It could, of course, be a matter of all these issues.

http://www.livescience.com/18244-sugar-toxic-regulations.html
 

whiskeyguy

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The researchers propose regulations such as taxing all foods and drinks that include added sugar, banning sales in or near schools and placing age limits on purchases.
The researchers are fucking morons.
 

Konstantin K

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Hopefully the government will step in and shield us from this danger.
 

mills

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I can see the part about how it taxes the liver, but I guarantee no media outlets are looking at the extent to which is does that. They never do, it's always forget about quantitative analysis because qualitative (either it does, or it doesn't) is good enough for a story. Either way it's terrible science to mention the words obesity and toxic in the same thought. Biologically, fat is a good thing because it keeps you from starving. Saying that the gradual overconsumption of something that can eventually lead to health problems makes that something "toxic" per se is idiotic.

It's the same as telling someone their lifestyle is toxic. It's about as reputable a statement as a Britney Spears song.
 

Neon

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I think we should ban the term "researcher." Hey, remember that wee for a Wii chick? Guess we the government should regulate water sale and consumption as well...
 

KRSOne

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The researchers propose regulations such as taxing all foods and drinks that include added sugar, banning sales in or near schools and placing age limits on purchases.
There you go, just another tax and more power for government and the big companies. Its just like government saying people are to blame for global warming so we have to tax you more. A tax is going to save us from natural cycles that have been going on for billions of years? A tax is going to lower diabetes rate? You would be better off educating people about the dangers of aspartame.

I'm sure Monsanto would support this because they would get exemptions to these regulations and be able to drive their competition out of business. The same way GE is doing with Obama and green house gas taxes that they are exempt from.

The background is well-known: In the United States, more than two-thirds of the population is overweight, and half of them are obese. About 80 percent of those who are obese will have diabetes or metabolic disorders and will have shortened lives, according to the UCSF authors of the commentary, led by Robert Lustig. And about 75 percent of U.S. health-care dollars are spent on diet-related diseases, the authors said.
Americans have been drinking soft drinks with real sugar since the late 1800s and the diabetes was lower and there wasn't as many fatties wobbling around. Now that HF corn syrup and aspartame are used we have seen a fat explosion. People think they are losing weight and being healthy by drinking a 6 pack of diet soda every day. Drink some water, stop with treating yourself every 5 seconds.
 

Mags

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There you go, just another tax and more power for government and the big companies. Its just like government saying people are to blame for global warming so we have to tax you more. A tax is going to save us from natural cycles that have been going on for billions of years? A tax is going to lower diabetes rate? You would be better off educating people about the dangers of aspartame.

I'm sure Monsanto would support this because they would get exemptions to these regulations and be able to drive their competition out of business. The same way GE is doing with Obama and green house gas taxes that they are exempt from.

Americans have been drinking soft drinks with real sugar since the late 1800s and the diabetes was lower and there wasn't as many fatties wobbling around. Now that HF corn syrup and aspartame are used we have seen a fat explosion. People think they are losing weight and being healthy by drinking a 6 pack of diet soda every day. Drink some water, stop with treating yourself every 5 seconds.
You're just a shill for Big Sugar.
 

whiskeyguy

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There you go, just another tax and more power for government and the big companies. Its just like government saying people are to blame for global warming so we have to tax you more. A tax is going to save us from natural cycles that have been going on for billions of years? A tax is going to lower diabetes rate? You would be better off educating people about the dangers of aspartame.

I'm sure Monsanto would support this because they would get exemptions to these regulations and be able to drive their competition out of business. The same way GE is doing with Obama and green house gas taxes that they are exempt from.

Americans have been drinking soft drinks with real sugar since the late 1800s and the diabetes was lower and there wasn't as many fatties wobbling around. Now that HF corn syrup and aspartame are used we have seen a fat explosion. People think they are losing weight and being healthy by drinking a 6 pack of diet soda every day. Drink some water, stop with treating yourself every 5 seconds.
Lack of moderation and less physically-demanding jobs/activities are the main causes of obesity. People are eating more of the unhealthy food that has existed for decades, and burning less of those calories. Blaming obesity on what's in the food only displaces personal responsibility. You're right that drinking six diet sodas a day is fucking bad for you, but so is drinking six regular sodas a day.

Kirk, here's a question. If you had to choose between diet soda with aspartame, and water with fluoride, which would you drink? Obviously it's a tough choice because both will end up killing you in 60-80 years.
 

Party Rooster

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#13
There you go, just another tax and more power for government and the big companies. Its just like government saying people are to blame for global warming so we have to tax you more. A tax is going to save us from natural cycles that have been going on for billions of years? A tax is going to lower diabetes rate? You would be better off educating people about the dangers of aspartame.

I'm sure Monsanto would support this because they would get exemptions to these regulations and be able to drive their competition out of business. The same way GE is doing with Obama and green house gas taxes that they are exempt from.

Americans have been drinking soft drinks with real sugar since the late 1800s and the diabetes was lower and there wasn't as many fatties wobbling around. Now that HF corn syrup and aspartame are used we have seen a fat explosion. People think they are losing weight and being healthy by drinking a 6 pack of diet soda every day. Drink some water, stop with treating yourself every 5 seconds.
Cane sugar and beet sugar were also part of the "study."
 

Psychopath

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I am fucking sick of these assholes trying to tax the way people live. I am a big boy, I can make decisions of what I put in my system myself.
 

Josh_R

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Lord Zero

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If you quote him, that defeats the purpose of putting him on my ignore list. Judging from my nauseous reaction to his bullshit, I've concluded that Kirk is toxic to my system, and must be banned.
Unoriginal, condescending monologue from Kirk about free speech and how we're part of the problem in 3... 2... 1...
 

Sunsetspawn

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If you quote him, that defeats the purpose of putting him on my ignore list. Judging from my nauseous reaction to his bullshit, I've concluded that Kirk is toxic to my system, and must be banned.
So I guess we'll all make sure that we never quote Kirk, ever.
 

Ballbuster1

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I say B/S. Natural sugar is way safer than artificial sweeteners.
Natural foods are healthier but we don't eat them as much as
we should. Speed and convenience have killed our diets.
 

THE FEZ MAN

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ASS HOLES like this make me pray to the flying spaghetti monster for the Apocalypse
 

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