Scientists argue sugar should be regulated like alcohol, tobacco

In a front-page story, the San Francisco Chronicle, “Like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is a toxic, addictive substance that should be highly regulated with taxes, laws on where and to whom it can be advertised, and even age-restricted sales, says a team of UCSF scientists” in a commentary published in Nature.

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports that, according to the authors, “For both alcohol and tobacco, there is robust evidence that gentle ‘supply side’ control strategies which stop far short of all-out prohibition – taxation, distribution controls, age limits – lower both consumption of the product and the accompanying health harms.”

They add, “Consequently, we propose adding taxes to processed foods that contain any form of added sugars.”

ABC News “Medical Unit” blog reports, “Increased control is necessary, they say, because efforts to keep excessive sugar out of the American diet have failed.”

CBS News “HealthPop” blog reports that the authors “said that over the past 50 years, sugar consumption has tripled worldwide. That’s also helped contribute to the obesity epidemic – so much so that there are 30 percent more obese people in this world than there are malnourished people.”

MedPage Today reports that the authors “called sugar ‘toxic,’ particularly in excessive amounts, noting that it poses dangers similar to those of alcohol. Fructose, specifically, can harm the liver, they wrote, and overconsumption has been linked with all the diseases involved with metabolic syndrome: hypertension, high triglycerides, insulin resistance, and diabetes.”

One thought on “Scientists argue sugar should be regulated like alcohol, tobacco

  • Hmmm, physical inactivity seems a MUCH BIGGER threat. Likewise, efforts to get people to exercise have also “failed”. By this logic, those who document regular exercise each week should get a TAX BREAK!!!!
    On the other hand, perhaps we also need to tax: television, the internet, buffets, … well you get my point.

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