Houston, we have a problem: Sugar
Researchers say it’s time Americans take the blinders off and face the cold-hard facts about sugar consumption and its impact on your health.
A study published in the journal PLoS draws a strong link between higher diabetes rates and sugar. Many experts are calling the data a “smoking-gun,” equivalent to the 1960s study that linked cigarettes to lung cancer.
In a statement, one of the lead authors of the study said, “You could not enact a real-world study that would be more conclusive than this one.”
Among the key findings was that drinking one 12-ounce can of soft drink was associated with a 1.1 percent rise in diabetes prevalence. Thus, for every 12 ounces of a sugar-sweetened beverage a person consumes per day, the rate of diabetes goes up 1 percent. It is important to note that the study didn’t find any significant difference between those countries that rely more heavily on high-fructose corn syrup in their food supply compared to those that primarily use cane sugar.
Scientists involved in the study are hopeful their findings are the ammunition needed to prove sugar is toxic and hopefully get something done about it.
But the country will have to wait on the Food and Drug Administration to weigh in. To fulfill its mission, the agency must respond to the data by re-evaluating the toxicity of sugar and letting the public know just how much added sugar per day is considered safe.
Longtime proponents of limiting sugar in our daily food supply would like the FDA to make it clear to folks that all calories are not created equal.
Even though all calories give off the same amount of energy when burned, your body treats sugar calories differently, and it’s that difference that is damaging to your health.
The key take-away: Even though overeating can make you sick, indulging in too much sugar can too.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.