Friday, 24 February 2012

Crowd stimulation

Tax and regulate sugar like alcohol and tobacco, urge scientists

"Sugar should be regulated in the same way as alcohol and tobacco because its increasing use in processed foods poses a significant danger to public health, according to a group of scientists. They advocate controlling sales to children under 17 and taxing sugary foods.

Sugar, they argue, is as toxic to the liver as alcohol and overconsumption is at the root of growing public health problems including obesity and certain types of liver disease.

"For the first time in human history, long-term diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes now pose a greater health burden worldwide than infectious diseases, according to the United Nations, contributing to 35m deaths annually. "There are now 30% more people who are obese than who are undernourished," said the UCSF scientists.

"Sugar induces many of the diseases associated with "metabolic syndrome", including high blood pressure, diabetes and accelerated ageing. "It can also be argued that fructose exerts toxic effects on the liver that are similar to those of alcohol," said the UCSF scientists. "This is no surprise, because alcohol is derived from the fermentation of sugar."

Preliminary studies have also linked sugar consumption to cancer and cognitive decline. "Consequently, we propose adding taxes to processed foods that contain any form of added sugars," wrote Lustig, Schmidt and Brindis. "This would include sweetened fizzy drinks (soda), other sugar-sweetened beverages (for example, juice, sports drinks and chocolate milk) and sugared cereal … Another option would be to limit sales during school operation, or to designate an age limit (such as 17) for the purchase of drinks with added sugar, particularly soda."

 "Dr Tim Lobstein: "There is certainly rising interest in taxing sugary foods, and treasuries will see this as an opportunity to boost state income while helping improve our diets.""

via The Guardian

1 comment:

  1. The irony here is that while most of progressive countries can veer away with tobacco and sugar overload because of high taxes imposed on it, a lot of 3rd world countries are still pushed back because of the intense lobbying efforts by multinational tobacco companies. There should be at least an international standard to govern these.