Is sugar as dangerous as alcohol and tobacco?

Is sugar as dangerous as alcohol and tobacco?

Thank you to my friend Gail in Wisconsin who alerted me to this great announcement about the ABC News segment highlighting a  group of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, who are urging a tax on sugary treats.

In an editorial published Feb 1, 2012 in the journal Nature, the UCSF doctors, Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt and Claire Brindis, said the ballooning rates — and costs —  of obesity, diabetes and other diseases, mean it’s time for regulators to lump sugar into the same category as alcohol and cigarettes and put similar restrictions on its sale and availability.

The authors say the government should consider taxing any processed foods that have added sugar, including soda, juice, chocolate milk and sugared cereal. They also recommend other efforts should aim to make sugary foods and drinks hard to get, like imposing age limits for buying soda and controlling when and where sugary foods are sold. They also envision something like a sugar-free zone around schools.

Of course the whole issue raises a whole “other issue such as this comment by Lona Sandon, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association:

“What about lack of physical activity? Should there be an increased tax on chairs or cars? Both of these decrease physical activity which we also know is associated with increased body weight and chronic disease as well,” said Lona Sandon,”What about TVs, computers, iPads?  Increased screen time is also associated with obesity and the resulting chronic health problems.”

I am glad we are at least stating that SUGAR IS a BIG issue and we need to take some action!