Author Topic: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?  (Read 20900 times)

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Offline CaseAgainstFaith

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Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« on: February 02, 2012, 06:44:49 pm »
Tobacco, alcohol … and sugar?

A new commentary published in Nature argues that just as the first two substances are regulated in various ways by government authorities, so should be sugar. While acknowledging that food, unlike alcohol and tobacco, is required for survival, the authors say taxes, zoning ordinances and even age limits for purchasing certain sugar-laden products are all appropriate remedies for what they see as a not-so-sweet problem.

The authors of the piece, Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt and Claire Brindis, are all from the University of California, San Francisco. Lustig has been a particularly harsh (and longtime) critic of the impact of added sugars on health — here’s his widely viewed 2009 lecture on that topic. (Lustig was also a central character in a New York Times magazine piece on this subject last year.)

Note that they are talking about sugar added to foods. No one is arguing that we should spurn fruit, for example, because of the naturally occurring fructose.

“We believe attention should be turned to ‘added sugar,’ defined as any sweetener containing the molecule fructose that is added to food in processing,” the authors write. (And they argue the current dietary “bogeymen” — saturated fat and salt — deserve less scrutiny than the sweet white stuff.)

They’re talking about foods sweetened with sucrose — about half fructose and half glucose — and high-fructose corn syrup, which despite its name is mostly used in formulations that are 55% and 42% fructose.

The authors write that sugar is more than just empty calories — that growing evidence links fructose overconsumption with health problems including hypertension and diabetes. “Early studies” link it to cancer and cognitive decline, they write. They also argue that like tobacco and alcohol, “it acts on the brain to encourage subsequent intake.”

source - http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2012/02/02/a-spoonful-of-bad-health-ucsf-researchers-slam-sugar/

This just seems dumb to me.  I think it is more about personal responsibility than sugar being inherently bad for you.  I say dumb idea is dumb.
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Offline Lithp

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012, 06:54:38 pm »
Parents already get to regulate their children's diets heavily, passing laws about it isn't necessary even if their logic DID hold true.

Offline Da Rat Bastid

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 06:58:28 pm »
Are you kidding, Lithp?  It isn't a parent's job to keep things safe for their kids nowadays.  That's the job of the government and everyone else. ::)

Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 07:08:04 pm »
Umm...no?  This is blatantly retarded.  Regulating alcohol doesn't stop people from getting drunk.  It doesn't even stop minors from getting drunk.  What could possibly make you think sugar would be any easier to regulate in a similar manner to alcohol or tobacco?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 07:09:38 pm by RavynousHunter »
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Offline KZN02

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012, 07:08:42 pm »
Reminds me of the sugar plantations centuries ago in the Americas. Pretty much karma bit back finally.
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Offline Osama bin Bambi

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 07:11:50 pm »
This is probably the dumbest regulation I've ever heard. It's up to parents to make decisions as to what to feed their children, not Big Government. Does the government honestly think that parents are incapable of caring for their own children?

I support honest labling of foods with sucrose and other sweeteners, but we already have that. This is just ridiculous.
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Offline Vene

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 08:26:56 pm »
This is probably the dumbest regulation I've ever heard. It's up to parents to make decisions as to what to feed their children, not Big Government. Does the government honestly think that parents are incapable of caring for their own children?
Considering there is currently a childhood obesity epidemic, they are incapable of such.

Oh, fyi, scientists at UCSF and the government are two different entities.

Offline GLaDOS

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 08:47:38 pm »
What next? Regulating the sale of pencils because kids might accidentally get lead poisoning from the lead in the pencils.
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Offline Vene

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 08:51:52 pm »
What next? Regulating the sale of pencils because kids might accidentally get lead poisoning from the lead in the pencils.
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I'm reasonably certain that biomedical scientists at a major university know the difference between graphite and lead.

ETA: Your comparison is also pretty bad because a high sugar diet actually does increase risk of cancer and diabetes.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 08:55:51 pm by Vene »

Offline Nightangel8212

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 08:58:27 pm »
The thing is, too much of ANYTHING isn't healthy for you. You could even die from drinking too much WATER! It should be up to the parents and individuals to decide how much of something they want to eat. Not the government. But then again, I'm sort of for allowing people full control over their own bodies, so... yeah. I find it stupid.

Offline Mira

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2012, 08:59:13 pm »
What next? Regulating the sale of pencils because kids might accidentally get lead poisoning from the lead in the pencils.

What next? Regulating automobile safety because some family might accidentally go through a windshield?
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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2012, 09:01:42 pm »
Sugar's very addictive and causes a lot of health problems...I mean, I love sugar, don't get me wrong, but that shit's like crack.

Offline Vene

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2012, 09:04:10 pm »
The thing is, too much of ANYTHING isn't healthy for you. You could even die from drinking too much WATER! It should be up to the parents and individuals to decide how much of something they want to eat. Not the government. But then again, I'm sort of for allowing people full control over their own bodies, so... yeah. I find it stupid.
Find me a study showing a link between overconsumption of water and public health. If water doesn't have this factor, your comparison is invalid. You could argue personal autonomy, but it's a tax and not a ban.

Offline Mira

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2012, 09:05:10 pm »
The thing is, too much of ANYTHING isn't healthy for you. You could even die from drinking too much WATER! It should be up to the parents and individuals to decide how much of something they want to eat. Not the government. But then again, I'm sort of for allowing people full control over their own bodies, so... yeah. I find it stupid.

If parents neglect their children's health, is this not defined as child abuse? Don't you think intervention is called for in such cases?
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Offline Stormwarden

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Re: Regulate sugar like alcohol and cigarettes?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2012, 09:15:06 pm »
^ Only when it's clear the parents are grossly incompetent in such matters. If their kid is already morbidly obese, and the 'rents won't do bupkis about it, then by all means.

However, let's not kid ourselves. The government's track record as parental substitutes is ABYSMAL at best. I've already seen how well the government is doing on the drug war (they're not). On this issue, frankly, the nanny staters can go jump off a ledge.

Nothing of value would be lost if they did.


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