Over the last 30 years, we’ve watched disease rates skyrocket in the U.S. We have one of the highest obesity rates in the world and no matter what we’ve done, it keeps getting worse. The prime culprit is sugar. It is driving our nation’s health into the ground and numerous medical experts suggest we start treating it like a dangerous drug. While you may think this sounds ludicrous, research suggests otherwise. Sugar addiction may seem harmless, but it’s literally killing us.

Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California and president of the non-profit Institute for Responsible Nutrition , states “virtually every chronic metabolic disease that you can think of is being driven by this excess of sugar”.


A hundred years ago, many of our country’s current health problems were barely a blip on the radar. Back then, sugar was simply a condiment. Today, it’s a staple of the American diet (it’s in 80 percent of our food). Research has tied its excessive intake to the rise of several health problems, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In the early 90s, Type 2 diabetes only accounted for three percent of new diabetes cases in children; by 2004, it rose to 45 percent.

These problems didn’t just come from the obvious culprits – donuts, ice cream, pizza and other junk food. They come from the low-fat (high sugar) salad dressing, energy bars and added sweeteners from all the processed foods we love so much. As we got sicker, food companies started selling “low calorie” options, replacing fat with added sugar.

Virtually every chronic metabolic disease that you can think of is being driven by this excess of sugar
-Dr. Robert Lustiq


Dr. Mark Hyman, a published researcher on sugar’s effects on the body, states “Some animal studies show that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine.” This could better explain why so many Americans just can’t drop the stuff. He adds “People can’t manage their behavior and their eating because their taste buds and their biology have all been hijacked by processed, hyper-palatable, high glucose, high sugar foods that drive their hormones and neurotransmitters to make them eat more.”

A small amount of added sugar every day isn’t that bad. It’s okay in moderation, but many Americans are far from it. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a daily added sugar intake of six to nine teaspoons for adults, yet the average American consumes over double that amount. It’s clear that we have a serious problem.

Dr. Lustig states sugar meets all criteria for regulation “hands” down”. “One, it’s ubiquitous — it’s everywhere, and it’s cheap. Two, we have a dose threshold, and we are above it. Three, if it’s addictive, it’s abused. Four, how does your sugar consumption hurt me? Well, my employer has to pay $2,750 per employee for obesity management and medicine, whether I’m obese or not.”

According to research, the case to regulate sugar is a strong one. It’s wreaking havoc on our health. In order to make change, we have to recognize there’s a problem. Clearly, it’s time to change the way we look at sugar.


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