The results of research findings over the past 20 years have scientists urging governments to tax sugar in the same way as other harmful substances like tobacco and alcohol are. These addictive substances have high abuse potential, and any amount of their consumption is associated with an increase in morbidity. This inevitably strains the health care system with the cost of medical treatment. Diseases that require long term care, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease now cost the medical system more than infectious disease. Until the modern era, infectious disease has always held that top rung. Rates have skyrocketed as the expected lifespan in developing nations is catching up to those in the developed world, for the first time providing the time needed to see the evidence of degenerative disease manifest.
To match the tax on the body
Researchers found that sugar does as much damage to the liver as alcohol, and easily meets the criteria for which alcohol was initially banned during prohibition and then later regulated. They are going as far as to promote regulations similar to those of alcohol that restrict the sale of sugar to minors. The body's response to early exposure to refined sugars and processed foods can lead to lifelong eating habits and chronic illness. While diets that are high in fat have a similar criminal record, sugar activates pleasure centers in the human brain, making its consumption addictive and habit forming.
Processed foods inflate the dietary availability of sugars. Refined sugars provide calories without being paired with a nutrient, as sugars in sweet fruits are. They are referred to as "empty calories" because they don't contain the high concentration of nutrients that are associated with high calorie content in natural foods. Over the last half of a century, worldwide consumption of sugar has increased three-fold.
The cost of protection
Dr Tim Lobstein states that sugar is one of the main enemies with which health care struggles. Despite insistence from sugar lobbyists that there is no link between disease morbidity and current rates of sugar consumption, the findings of researchers at Cancer Research UK show that excess body mass is second only to smoking tobacco as a predictive risk factor for cancer.
They further explain that as the body sends hunger signals indicating that its nutrient needs haven't been met, the individual who eats low-nutrient high-sugar foods provides their body with calories as a distraction, but doesn't give their body what it's looking for, and only temporarily displaces the hunger urge. The self-reinforcing pattern can lead to obesity that is often simultaneous with malnutrition.
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification.
Written by Raw Michelle (NaturalNews)
Featured image: Sugar by Judy van der Velden (CC via Flickr)
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