There are some people who can’t resist sugary treats. We say they have a sweet tooth. But pretty soon, we may be calling them “sugar addicts”.
According to Robert Lustig and his team, it’s not obesity that is contributing to our nation’s food related health problems, it’s sugar consumption. In fact, 20% of obese people are perfectly healthy, while 40% of people with normal weight have increased chances for diabetes and other health issues. When trying to find a common thread, the trail leads back to excessive sugar consumption.
Our daily sugar consumption today stands at 22 teaspoons. At 4 grams per teaspoon, 4 calories per gram, that works out to 352 calories! The most shocking fact is that just 30 years ago the average consumption was only a third of what it is today.
Instead of silly educational campaigns that are no match for corporate advertising budgets, the scientists suggest a set of drastic measures, mimicking the regulatory governance of alcohol and tobacco.
- Heavy taxation on sugary foods and beverages
- Removing sugar from the FDA’s “generalyl regarded as safe” (GRAS) list of ingredients
- Removing all sugary foods and drink from schools and nearby
- Prohibiting the advertising of sugary foods and drinks to kids and teens
- Banning the sale of sugary drinks to children
Why such drastic public health measures? According to the authors, since individual responsibility approaches have not been effective, the government must step in to help consumers.
“Everybody yells, ‘Nanny state, this guy is trying to control our food,’ ” Lustig said. “But it’s already being controlled. It limits consumer choice when so much of our food is controlled by these industries. I’m actually trying to undo the nanny state.” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle…
What do you think? Should the measures above be instated, wholly or partially?