Is sugar toxic?

The debate over reducing our sugar intake

February 14, 2012

A recent commentary in the journal Nature argues that sugar isn’t just bad for you — it’s toxic. So toxic that it should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco.

The article’s authors contend that the effects of over-consuming sugar are similar to those caused by alcohol — and that sugar has led to an increase in diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

“A little is not a problem, but a lot kills — slowly,” they say.

Raj Patel, in an article for the Atlantic, agrees with the call for government regulation. He points a finger not just at sugar, but the food industry as a whole — arguing that Big Food has such a tight grasp on our buying habits that we consumers may not be as free as we think we are when it comes our food choices.

Still, there may be some evidence that there are ways to encourage healthier decisions: a new study that found that kids were more likely to choose green beans in the lunch line when their trays featured photos of veggies.

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