News Thursday February 2, 2012

Sugar just as bad as cigarettes and alcohol, research claims

US scientists say that a tax should be imposed on sugary food and drink as it is just as bad as tobacco and alcohol.

A research team from the University of California has claimed that the sale of high-sugar products must be regulated to decrease the risks of long-term health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

With an increased use of sugar in processed food and an unwillingness of food manufacturers to put restrictions on bulk, low-cost ingredients, the work of many health campaigns - to educate on the benefits of a good diet - appears redundant.

As the consumption of sugar has trebled over the last 50 years, and notably over the last ten, scientists are urging restrictions to be made. Such suggestions include imposing an age limit and increasing prices – especially to prevent children under 18 purchasing particularly high-sugar food and drink.

Though the suggestion of regulation has been applauded, there are those, such as The Food and Drink Federation, who believe that ‘demonising’ food is unlikely to solve the problem, and should instead focus on ‘added sugar’ produce and promoting a balanced diet.

As more sugar is consumed in modern society, researchers claim that there are more people who are obese than those who are undernourished. Head scientist, Robert Lustig, said of the overconsumption of sugar, "A little is not a problem, but a lot kills – slowly" - which applies just as much to sugar, as it does to excessive smoking and drinking.

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