Saturday, February 4, 2012

I’m Not Alone…The Toxicity Of Sugar [UPDATED]

**AHEM** (excerpt, emphasis added):

Experts suggest tax on sugar to combat health crisis

PARIS: Sugar should be identified alongside alcohol and tobacco as a health danger, and governments should tax sweetened drinks and food as part of their efforts to combat it.

So says a commentary, published on Thursday in the journal Nature as part of a widening debate among doctors and policy-makers about food fiscality and health.

Around 35 million people die each year of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes and a wave of obesity is unfurling from rich countries to developing economies, say three US academics who authored the piece…

…A levy on added sugars would help meet the growing costs of meeting sugar-related health problems and discourage consumption, they suggest.

In the United States, the government is currently considering a soda tax that would raise the price of a can of fizzy drink by around 10-12 US cents, bringing in some 14 billion dollars a year of revenue.

But statistical modelling suggests that the price would have to double to significantly reduce soda consumption -- so a one-dollar can should cost two dollars, say the trio…

…Consumption of sugar worldwide has tripled in the past 50 years, adding hugely to daily average colorie intake, especially in the United States.

More and more scientific evidence, says the commentary, suggests chronic sugar consumption has a slow-moving, complex but devastating role in metabolic syndromes such as hypertension and diabetes.

This class of diseases cost the US alone 65 billion dollars a year in lost productivity and 150 billion in medical care, it says.

Hat tip to The Mole for bringing this forward, though Googling the article it appears that it’s triggered a ton of commentary globally.

If you want to know more of the damage sugar can do, you can find out in excruciating detail below, in this lecture given by Robert Lustig, one of the authors of the study:

If you want a more balanced opinion (Lustig is known as an anti-sugar zealot), you can try this more balanced article from the New York Times.

Technical Details:

Robert H. Lustig, Laura A. Schmidt & Claire D. Brindis, "Public health: The toxic truth about sugar", Nature 482, 27–29 (02 February 2012), Published online 01 February 2012

[Gated link. If I find an ungated version, I’ll update the link]


Courtesy of Walla and an anonymous poster, you can find an ungated version of the paper here.


  1. ungated link could be this url