Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) expressed fears over the excessive sugar consumption of Americans and said that it is almost as much of a concern as intake of alcohol and tobacco. Excessive sugar consumption is fast becoming toxic and a need was felt for better personal and societal interventions in tackling the problem.
Professor of clinical pediatrics at The Center for Obesity Assessment of UCSF, Robert H. Lustig, MD, sounded alarmed about the situation and called for societal intervention. This is particularly important because sugar is addictive. For this reason, personal intervention is not good enough. Although the sugar association of the country denies such allegations, stating that sugar alone is not directly responsible for any disorder, health experts differ.
According to Lustig, sugar is responsible not only for obesity but causes complications even in people with normal weight. Some of the health hazards for people consuming excess sugar are:
The most alarming fact about sugar consumption is that it creates sensations in the brain similar to tobacco and alcohol abuse. It has an effect on the brain which increases its craving. The key point in this assessment is that the naturally occurring sugar found in fruits or milk is not addictive, but any artificial sweetener in which molecule fructose is used is an added sugar, i.e. one that can harm your health.
According to American Heart Association, men should limit the intake of sugar to 9 teaspoons a day while woman should take no more than 6 teaspoons. According to Lustig, intake of sugar should be regulated by law, setting age limit for purchase of sugary drinks, and by restricting availability. He is of the opinion that FDA should intervene in implementing these along with some other suggestions.
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