A provocative new report from the prestigious science journal Nature suggests that sugars are so unhealthy that they should be regulated.
Nature, the prestigious science magazine from Great Britain, has just published a commentary with a provocative title, "The toxic truth about sugar," and an even more provocative subtitle: "Added sweeteners pose dangers to health that justify controlling them like alcohol."
The authors, Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt, and Claire Brindis, are researchers at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco (UCSF).
They argue that although tobacco, alcohol, and diet are critically important behavioral risk factors in chronic disease, only two of them -- tobacco and alcohol -- are regulated by governments to protect public health.
Now, they say, it's time to regulate sugar. By sugar, they mean sugars plural: sucrose as well as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Both are about half fructose.
- Consumption of sugars has tripled over the last 50 years.
- Many people consume as much as 500 calories a day from sugars (average per capita availability in the U.S. is about 400 calories a day).
- High intake of fructose-containing sugars induce metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, insulin resistance), diabetes, and liver damage.
- Sugars have the potential for abuse.
- Sugars have negative effects on society (mediated via obesity).
- Too much of a good thing can be toxic.