Is sugar a poison? Professor Lustig’s the number one enemy of the sugar lobby. According to him sugar is clearly poisonous in larger quantities. Now Lustig’s published a well written article in the prestigious scientific journal Nature.
The negative health effects of todays sugar consumption can no longer be ignored he argues. It’s time to act against sugar like we’ve acted against tobacco and alcohol.
From the article
The problem with sugar isn’t just weight gain:
Authorities consider sugar as ‘empty calories’ — but there is nothing empty about these calories. A growing body of scientific evidence is showing that fructose can trigger processes that lead to liver toxicity and a host of other chronic diseases. A little is not a problem, but a lot kills — slowly.
A new problem:
Evolutionarily, sugar was available to our ancestors as fruit for only a few months a year (at harvest time), or as honey, which was guarded by bees. But in recent years, sugar has been added to nearly all processed foods, limiting consumer choice. Nature made sugar hard to get; man made it easy.
Time for a political intervention?
I recommend the three page article, it’s well worth reading. But you should avoid it if you get allergic symptoms from talk about taxation on food. Lustig argues that we need to use the same tools against sugar as the ones we use against tobacco and alcohol.
Unfortunately the time’s probably not ripe yet for drastic political measures against sugar. It’s a shame because such interventions would likely result in major gains for public health, just like they have already in the fight against smoking and other poisons.
The cause of obesity
Is too much sugar the main cause of common obesity? Here’s a video interview I did with professor Lustig a few months ago:
Obesity and the trouble with sugar (lecture from August last year)
Taubes in NYT: Is sugar toxic? (includes Lustig’s greatest hit with almost 2 million views on YouTube)