MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many of us like to indulge our sweet tooth. But, a group of experts now say sugar is just as bad for you as alcohol or tobacco. And they now want it regulated the same way.

We all know too many sweets pack on the pounds but they’re often too hard to resist.

A commentary in the latest issue of “Nature” says sugar is responsible for the high rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. And should be regulated.

“Sugar is not empty calories. Sugar is way worse than empty calories,” said Dr. Robert Lustig, of the University of California. “Because of the way sugar is metabolized in the liver, the liver will turn sugar into fat-causing insulin resistance, all of the diseases of metabolic syndrome.”

The authors say it’s time to put restrictions on sugar, similar to the ones on tobacco and alcohol.

“What if we had an age limit to purchase soda for instance? Carding kids for Coke. I think it’s a great idea,” Lustig said.

Experts say the average American consumes 300-500 calories from added sugars a day. And some of it is in foods you may not realize, like breads, soups and salad dressings.

Nutritionists say limiting sugar is a good idea.

“I think regulation will be tough but I think that there are small steps we can take,” said Keri Glassman, of Nutritiouslife.

But people like Pat Dixon disagrees.

“You don’t have a car accident because you’ve had too many popsicles. You don’t wake up with the wrong people because you had chocolate cake for dessert. I mean, the government should stay out of the sugar business,” she said.

The researchers know it will take time to change people’s attitudes but with obesity levels where they are now, they say tackling sugar is the only way to solve the problem.

The amount of sugar people consume worldwide has tripled over the past 50 years.

Researchers say it’s due to the addition of high fructose corn syrup.

It’s tasty and cheap to add to many foods and drinks.

Comments (16)
  1. Phiid says:

    Wow. What will the nanny state people think of next?

  2. Mel says:

    @Phiid, my thoughts exactly! Obesity is a self-control issue, just as alcohol and tobacco are. Everyone is a victim these days, so they couldn’t possibly be held accountable for their actions.

  3. John Frykman says:

    Educate people…DON’T REGULATE THEM! We don’t need to add sugar police to our already bloated and over-reaching government. Maybe we should regulate carbohydates…all of them turn to sugar once ingested. Shall we regulate whole wheat bread? Bagels? This is nuts!

  4. save us! says:

    Now wait a minute, I thought sitting was the new “smoking.” Now just days later some other researcher looking for fame and more grants says its sugar. And what is more, he believes once again the government must step in and save us from ourselves because heaven knows before this everyone thought too much sugar was just fine. That’s right folks, eating sugar is not a matter of choice. It is being pushed upon us and our children by clever marketing to get us hooked. We have no control over our own diets! Thank the lord of political correctness we have people like this looking out for our well being.

  5. gad zooks says:

    Next week: A “group of experts” has found that skateboarding is the new crack

  6. Gaylord says:

    What about salt?
    Watching too much television?

    It’s fine for the government to inform people but they are already too big and already have too much impact on our lives.

  7. Bigbrother says:

    so sugar is bad but High-Fructose Corn Syrup , or Saccarhin is GOOD for you?

  8. ipmutt says:

    This is what you get when sections of the public sector are over staffed. Nothing good to do so they come up with this. And like any well trained public sector worker, the answer is to form a regulation agency to give them some power over our lives. Get rid of these guys. Start cutting back on our over staffed government. This is where we need reduction.

  9. start the crusade says:

    Regulate and tax it to death. Anyone buying more than a half pound of sugar at a time needs to undergo a background check, fill out paper work, and be issued a concealed sugar carry permit. All our society’s problems will disappear if we can only get rid of this great evil. We must surrender all our rights and responsibilities to “groups of experts” in order to achieve the illusion of safety we all crave.

  10. Are you serious says:

    Let’s put Eric Holder in charge of regulating sugar right after they find the guns they gave to the cartels.

  11. mimudunn says:

    These “experts” are from San Francisco—what does that tell you. All experts please move to California and regulate YOURSELVES to death–leave the rest of the real world alone. Please.

  12. Janice says:

    Today sugar, yesterday sitting, what tomorrow – needing to use the restroom? This is just like this year’s disease or miracle vitamin or miracle food (eat XX of XYZ and live to 100). Everything causes cancer, everything causes diabetes (not true, but the myths prevail – sugar DOES NOT cause diabetes), pictures on lunch trays will make kids eat vegetables (notice they didn’t have broccoli)? Someone has too much time on their hands. Can anyone say Special Interests? (and not just in politics). Does anyone actual believe this stuff anymore?