Thursday, February 28, 2013

Across the Globe, Sugar Becomes Public Health Enemy #1

Public health enemy number one these days—across the globe—is sugar. The evidence keeps building that sugar—whether it be in soda, candy or white rice and flour—is the genesis of many of our health ills.

Trying to change people's ways, though, may prove difficult, thanks in part to the incessant marketing and lobbying of the junk food companies. Three health organizations in Australia (Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and the National Heart Foundation of Australia) released this television commercial trying to get their point across. (If you are receiving The Delicious Truth via email, click here to view.)

And in the United States, municipalities are fighting to enact soda taxes. The battle may become easier, though, with the release of a new study yesterday that severely implicates sugar. Mark Bittman, in today's online edition of The New York Times, discusses the study and sugar's ramifications. Here are the first four paragraphs of Bittman's piece ("It's the Sugar, Folks"); click here to read the entire article.
"Sugar is indeed toxic. It may not be the only problem with the Standard American Diet, but it’s fast becoming clear that it’s the major one.

"A study published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal PLoS One links increased consumption of sugar with increased rates of diabetes by examining the data on sugar availability and the rate of diabetes in 175 countries over the past decade. And after accounting for many other factors, the researchers found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates independent of rates of obesity.
"In other words, according to this study, obesity doesn’t cause diabetes: sugar does.
"The study demonstrates this with the same level of confidence that linked cigarettes and lung cancer in the 1960s. As Rob Lustig, one of the study’s authors and a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said to me, 'You could not enact a real-world study that would be more conclusive than this one.'”

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