Should Sugar Be Regulated?
|To define a certain substance as ‘addictive’, it has to meet several criteria: it has to be toxic, abusive and with bad influence on society, and potential to spread globally. Robert Lustig – a medical expert at the University of California, San Francisco – suggests that sugar consumption must be regulated because it fulfills all the above criteria.
1. Is sugar consumption a global problem?
Obesity has become a global issue. For the last 50 years sugar consumption has tripled. These days most low and middle income countries have adopted the Western diet, which consists of cheap, processed food which causes numerous health problems, such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and obesity among children. The primary culprit turns out to be the ‘added sugar’, including any sweetener containing fructose (added to processed food).
2. Is sugar toxic?
Excessive sugar consumption leads to major health issues and the extra calories are not the thing to worry about so much anymore. Sugar leads to most metabolic–related diseases, such as hypertension, insulin resistance, high triglyceride, etc. Do we need more reasons to consider sugar toxic? It’s all too obvious!
3. Is sugar a substance that can be easily abused?
Sugar consumption manipulates the brain to require more intake. Actually, sugar decreases the suppression of ghrelin, a hormone responsible for sending hunger signals to the brain. It also interrupts normal functioning of the hormone leptin, which helps to produce the feeling of satiety. Last, but not least sugar consumption decreases the pleasure derived from food, because it affects the normal secretion of dopamine, a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells.
4. Does sugar have a negative effect on society?
According to Robert Lustig’s article ”The toxic truth about sugar”, almost 75% of all public health care budget in the USA is spent on diseases caused by obesity. More than $150 billion is spent each year on health-care resources associated with metabolic syndrome.
So, what do you think? Should the government ban sugar substances or is it ultimately up to to the individual to decide? Perhaps, requiring manufactures to provide a warning label conveying the health risks of sugar consumption is the way to go.
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