EP 426 Is Sugar the Next Tobacco?

If we’re honest, most of us love sweets.  And while talking about my love of chocolate on a radio program, my guest, a nutritionist, admonished me by saying ‘no you love sugar’.  Indeed, I do.  What surprised me is how much of it we consume in a day without knowing or thinking about it.  The fact is that it is added to virtually ever manufactured food product we consume, even those we consider good for us.  And that’s aside from the candy, sugary beverages and the number of teaspoonful we put in our coffee ever day.  Recently, a federal committee recommended that Americans limit our consumption of added sugars to 6 percent of our daily calories, down from the current guideline of 10 percent.  News flash: most of us cannot hit the 10 percent mark, let alone the new, lower standard.  Given the impact on our health that processed and sugary foods have on us, it is surprising that they have not come in for more regulation than they have.  Even fuzzy children’s ad limits are often circumvented using different marketing slogans.  We know what happens when government, at any level, attempts to limit the size of colas.  Yet, type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart conditions are prevalent in our society.  According to our guest, Lindsey Smith Taillie, a nutrition epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, perhaps, we can learn from what some other countries are doing to affect behavior.  It seems to me if we ever hope to get health care costs down in this country, we are going to have a better national diet.  Sugar is at the heart of this issue.