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Scientists Recommend Regulating Sugar Like Alcohol and Tobacco

While we love our vegan treats at One Green Planet, we do know that too much sugar is never a good idea. But is sugar toxic? According to scientists from the University of California, San Francisco sugar makes blood pressure and cholesterol go up, along with your risk for liver failure, obesity, blood pressure and heart disease.

The scientists believe that there is absolutely no need at all for added sugars in food, like table sugar, sucrose, and high fructose corn syrup. In addition, they’ve gone to the extent of recommending that there should be age limits on who can purchase them and they should be taxed in order to curb consumption!

The report (published in the latest edition of the journal Nature) claims that sugar is so toxic to the human body that it’s as bad for public health as tobacco and alcohol.

Americans consume on average more than 600 calories per day from added sugar, equivalent to 40 teaspoons! This is because sugar is added to a range of everyday foods, including soup, cereal, bread, baked beans and soda.  The report warns that obesity is now a bigger problem than malnourishment across the world. In addition, the authors point out that sugar meets four criteria for regulation that are largely accepted by public health experts and that were first applied to alcohol. Those criteria are pervasiveness in society, toxicity, potential for abuse and negative impact on society.

“We’re not talking prohibition,” said co-author Laura Schmidt, professor of health policy. “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.”

Watch the video below, where Robert H. Lustig, MD, and a team of UCSF researchers argue why sugar should be controlled like alcohol and tobacco to protect public health.

What do you think? Are their recommendations too extreme or should we wage war on sugar?

Image Source: Uwe Hermann/Flickr