Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Sugar scare

Sugar overload

Alexandra Olgin

Posted February 15, 2012

Sugar has that sweet flavor that we all love and crave in its natural and processed forms, but its sweet nature may be the leading cause of addiction and health problems.

UCSF researchers Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt, and Claire Brindis discovered that sugar has properties that are addictive and drive insulin resistance and a desire to continuously eat it.

In an article in Time Magazine the researchers compare sugar to alcohol or tobacco. The article says sugary foods should be taxed because they are causing such health problems such as obesity and the side effects that come with it.

Lustig says sugar can increase blood pressure, alter metabolism and cause liver damage. These effects are eerily similar to the effects of alcohol. The article goes on to say alcohol is distilled sugars, so it makes sense that the effects are so similar. One of the biggest offenders is sugary drinks such as soda, juice and others. These are especially harmful because since they are liquid they don’t fill you up as much and you don’t realize how much sugar you are actually taking in.

I agree that sugar maybe the biggest trigger of obesity, however, I don’t necessarily agree with the suggestion for it to be regulated like alcohol or tobacco. Sugar in moderate amounts is fine. It’s just when it’s over consumed that it causes a health problem. I don’t think it would be fair to the people who properly consume it to take it away or regulate its consumption.

Alcohol is the same way. When consumed in moderate amounts it’s fine, but when it’s abused it causes health problems and addiction. The people who can regulate their own sugar intake probably wouldn’t want to consume over the amount that is regulated.

It’s a shame that such a sweet treat can cause such bitter consequences.


facebook twitter youtube flickr
C3 Transforming Life Sciences Through Collaboration X Computation X Communication University of Missouri HHMI