Researchers propose that sugars be taxed like other harmful and addictive substances

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:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp0902392
http://www.cbc.ca/onthecoast/episodes/2012/02/02/sugar-tax/
http://www.guardian.co.uk
http://www.cbc.ca

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)

Tags: sugar

Comments

Keith 7 years ago

TAX sugar just like tobacco? Not to save anyone but to expand the govt. Maybe the "researchers" might consider lobbying for the cessation of sugar subsidies and allow the import w/o tariff of foreign sugar? Sorry samosamo but Stupidity is correct. It is all about individual choice.

signalfire 7 years ago

In the 1800s, plant geneticists started breeding bitterness out of fruits and vegetables because people liked sweeter fruits and veggies better; unknowingly, they were also breeding out amygdalin or B17, which has a bitter taste. Turns out we need B17 to avoid getting cancers. Read or watch the video from G Edward Griffin about 'The Cure for Cancer' for more about this.

Faye 7 years ago

I would consider that this taxing of sugars like other harmful and other addictive substances would be playing more into the greedy profit play of things more than actually banning the manufacturing of products excessively using sugars and using harmful and addictive substances …

samosamo 7 years ago

stupidity, an apt name, you certainly don't know chit about nutrition nor the deleterious affects of sugar. Now that is just plain sugar. What the very refined carbohydrate industry is doing is using the high fructose corn syrup which is processed in the liver just like alcohol. But I think you already know that already because you comment just like what I would say a shill for the sugar industry would say to protect their profits. IT IS NOT morondom , but very deadly to promote sugar as a useful macro nutrient, but you, again, already know that, so take your snake oil yammering back to where you got it.

stupidity 7 years ago

sugar is a fundamental agent that is used in all animals' body cells, even plant cells to transmit and store energy. it is outright morondom to claim that it is dangerous, harmful, poisonous or anything of the sort. that there is over-consumption of sugar with fat in countries like america (sugar and fat in the same food - really ?), and this is a problem there does not mean that sugar is dangerous or harmful. drink too much water, and you will die from overdrinking water. its as simple as that.

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