Sugar is toxic and makes you fat

Sugar is toxic and makes you fat

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US medical professionals: high sugar consumption is responsible for obesity and many diseases

“Sugar is poison,” says Robert Pedig, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Funny has been warning about the consequences of high sugar consumption in the USA for years. In an interview with the news agency “dpa”, Lustig explains that sugar is not only responsible for obesity (obesity) but also for many other diseases.

Hidden sugar is particularly dangerous. For decades, fat was considered to be the thickener, but the pediatrician warns of the consequences of high sugar consumption. Especially at Christmas time, many people are seduced by treats rich in sugar and calories. Whether gingerbread, marzipan, candy cane or chocolate balls - the selection is immense.

"Today I say even more emphatically: Sugar is poison," said the 57-year-old. Lustig caused quite a sensation in 2009 when his previous day "Sugar: the Bitter Truth" was viewed over five million times on the Internet. In the article, the doctor provides information about sugar metabolism and the dangers of high sugar consumption. "Now we have all the facts together that too much sugar leads to obesity, heart diseases, liver and metabolism problems. Sugar not only makes you fat, it also makes you sick, "explains Lustig.

While in the past only three to four percent of the daily calorie intake in the United States was accounted for by sugar, today it is about 15 to 18 percent. In this context, the doctor mentions the hidden calorie bombs, such as sweetened breakfast cereals, salad dressing and finished products, as particularly dangerous. Sugared drinks such as cola or lemonade are also particularly problematic.

For the pediatrician, sugar is an addictive substance that, like tobacco or alcohol, can make you addicted. Funny sees the state in the obligation to intervene regulatively through bans and taxes. "Too much fructose, a common form of sugar, can damage the liver, just like too much alcohol," says the new website, which is nicknamed "the unsweetened truth". Among other things, doctors there inform that a US citizen consumes around 30 kilograms of sugar per year, whereby the calculation only includes added sugar. Natural sugar, such as in fruit or milk, is also added.

Soft drink tax for sugary beverages in Berkley In the United States, warnings about the health risks of sugar are becoming increasingly important. Through a referendum in the city of Berkley, voters achieved that their local authority would be the first to have a soft drink tax. From January onwards, beverages containing sugar are taxed. "We anticipate $ 1.5 million in revenue a year," campaign director Sara Soka told the news agency. The money should be used for children's health programs. "We won because the whole community, doctors, teachers, and minority groups were behind it." Soka said. “Berkeley is a trendsetter. Now we hope that more municipalities will follow. "

In 2012, New York wanted to ban the sale of sugary drinks in the jumbo center, Big Gulp. However, the law was overturned after a merger of dealers' associations and beverage manufacturers took legal action against it.

First Lady Michelle Obama is also committed to healthy eating. Their "Let’s Move" initiative is designed to encourage overweight children to exercise more. Many schools no longer offer sugary drinks. Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper Snapple have also promised to participate in the campaign to fight obesity. For this purpose, smaller bottle sizes and more calorie-reduced products should be offered. In this way, manufacturers want to reduce their calorie intake by 20 percent by consuming their beverages by the end of 2025. The initiative, which was presented in September, is viewed by critics as a PR trick. Because the manufacturers continue to fight against warnings on the bottles, which draw attention to a high sugar content, and against the soda tax. Instead, some companies are trying to market their products as "healthier". For example, low-calorie soft drinks with the natural plant sweetener stevia are offered.

More than a third of US adults are obese In the United States, more than a third of adults and about 13 million children and teenagers (approximately 17 percent of this population) now suffer from obesity, the CDC said. As a result, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, the main risk factor of which is obesity, are also increasing. In addition, being overweight promotes early spinal wear, joint damage, hormonal disorders, tumor diseases and many other diseases.

In this context, Lustig speaks of a health crisis that costs billions. He sees the beginning of the misery in the low-fat campaign in the 1970s. Back then, fat was pilloried as an unhealthy fattening agent. Sugar was added to the food instead of fat. "We eat an average of 19.5 teaspoons of added sugar a day," the pediatrician calculates. According to recommendations by the American Heart Association (AHA), women should consume a maximum of six teaspoons and men a maximum of nine teaspoons. One tablespoon of ketchup alone is hidden already a teaspoon of sugar and up to ten spoons in a can of lemonade. (ag)

Image: Jörg Brinckheger /

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Video: How Sugary Foods Are Making Us Fat


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