Obesity is becoming a BIG issue in the US and around the world. Countries which struggled to find enough food only decades ago now have growing numbers of overweight and obese citizens. Along with increased weight, we are seing huge increases in diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Who or what is to blame?
Sugar is one obvious suspect. About 80% of all prepared foods in the US contain sugar, high fructose corn-syrup, and other calorie rich sweeteners. Some health policy activists are pushing for government regulation of sugar as a toxic and addictive substance – like tobacco and alcohol.
Humans naturally crave sweet foods. This was a helpful genetic trait for thousands of generations when food was often scarce. The Fat were still alive after a year or two of famine; the Thin were not. For 99% of human existance, Fat was Healthy.
Prepared foods sell better when sweet (and salty) due to our natural cravings. Food processors sell what sells best. Finding prepared foods low in sugar and salt is not easy. Only when enough people buy them will they be plentiful. Foods that are healthy, like fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, are more expensive because they do not last for years on the shelf.
Some activists believe that people are too addicted to sweets to make “healthy” choices for themselves. They want to make make high sugar foods illegal, as New York City has done. Prohibition did not work for alcohol. High taxes on sugar, to make sugary foods more expensive than healthy foods, look more likely.
Take Contol Naturally with good choices in diet and exercise. Or ask government to take away your freedom to choose. But how can a one size fits all, government solution be best for everyone?
Jay Ginther, MD
Dr David Agus and Dr Robert Lustig have written books taking opposite sides of the issue.