Sugar – it’s delicious, but when it comes to your body it can also be dangerous. But is it dangerous enough to be a controlled substance? That’s what one team of researchers from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) is claiming. Based on sugar’s influence on obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, the researchers have proposed that sugar be regulated with the same stringency as alcohol or tobacco.
The piece in question was published this Wednesday in the most recent issue of Nature, an international weekly journal exploring myriad scientific disciplines. Led by UCSF pediatric doctor Robert Lustig, the paper cites studies and statistics from a range of studies to prove that excess sugar is addictive and toxic to the body, with the average American consuming exponentially more than we were ever meant to consume naturally. "Nature made sugar hard to get,” the report reads. “Man made it easy.”
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The report goes on to suggest that man should take action by making added sugar – especially added processed sugar like high fructose corn syrup – harder to get again. Considering its addictive and toxic properties, Lustig and his team propose that food and beverage products with added sugars should be taxed, banned in and around schools, and subject to age limits: all of the perks that come with being a controlled substance.
Obviously this isn’t a proposal that would easily be put into action – we can’t imagine such regulations would sit well with food production giants who meet their margins through the unlimited sale of sugary goods, and it’s hard enough getting small amounts of sugar and starch out of school cafeterias, let alone nationwide. But it’s certainly an interesting concept to think about.
[Source: Yahoo! News]