Sugar is poisonous and makes you fat
US physicians: High sugar intake is responsible for obesity and many diseases
„Sugar is poison“, says American paediatrics professor Robert Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Funny warns for years of the consequences of high sugar consumption in the US. So Zucker is responsible not only for obesity (obesity) but also for many other diseases, explains Lustig in a conversation with the news agency „dpa“.
Hidden sugar is especially dangerous
For decades, fat was considered to be the thickener par excellence, but the pediatrician warns of the consequences of high sugar intake. Especially at Christmas time, many people are tempted by sugar and calorie-rich treats. Whether gingerbread, marzipan, candy cane or chocolate balls - the selection is immense.
„Today, I say even more emphatically: "Sugar is poison." According to the 57-year-old, Lustig already caused quite a sensation in 2009, as his day before „Sugar: The Bitter Truth "has been viewed on the Internet over five million times In the post, the doctor informs about the sugar metabolism and the dangers of high sugar intake. „Now we have all the facts that too much sugar leads to obesity, heart disease, liver and metabolic problems. Sugar does not only make you fat, it also makes you sick ", explains Lustig.
While previously only three to four percent of the daily calorie intake in the US accounted for sugar, it is today about 15 to 18 percent. In this context, the doctor calls the hidden calorie bombs particularly dangerous, such as sweetened breakfast cereals, salad dressing and finished products. Sweetened drinks such as cola or lemonade are particularly problematic.
For the pediatrician, sugar is an addictive substance that can make tobacco or alcohol addictive. Lustig sees the state in the duty to intervene by prohibitions and taxes. „Too much fructose, a common form of sugar, can damage the liver, as well as too much alcohol, "states Sugarscience.org, the epithet „Among other things, medical professionals inform us that a US citizen consumes about 30 kilograms of sugar per year, which only includes added sugar, and adds natural sugar, such as fruit or milk.
Soft Dunk Tax on Sugary Beverages in Berkley
In the US, the warnings about the health dangers of sugar are getting more and more attention. In a referendum in the city of Berkley, voters reached their commune with the first soft drink tax. From January, sugary drinks will be taxed. „We expect $ 1.5 million in revenue per year, "said campaign leader Sara Soka to the news agency, saying the money should be used for children's health programs. „We won because the whole community, doctors, teachers and minority associations were behind it, "said Soka. „Berkeley is a trendsetter. Now we hope that more communities will follow. "
New York wanted 2012 ban on the sale of sugary drinks in the Jumbo Center, Big Gulp, enacted. However, the law was overturned after a merger of dealer associations and beverage manufacturers took legal action against it.
The First Lady Michelle Obama is committed to a healthy diet. Your initiative „Let's move“ is intended to encourage overweight children to exercise more. Sugary drinks are now no longer available at many schools. Coca-Cola, Pepsi and dr. Pepper Snapple also promised to participate in the anti-obesity campaign. For smaller bottle sizes and more calorie-reduced products are offered. In this way, the manufacturers want to reduce the calorie intake by the consumption of their drinks by 20 percent by the end of 2025. The initiative, which was unveiled in September, is viewed by critics as a PR trick. Because the manufacturers continue to fight against warnings on the bottles, which draw attention to a high sugar content, and against the soda tax. Instead, some companies try their products as „healthier“ market. So low-calorie soft drinks are offered with the natural vegetable sweetener Stevia.
More than a third of adult US citizens are obese
More than one-third of adults and about 13 million children and teenagers (about 17 percent of the population) in the United States are now suffering from obesity, according to the CDC. As a result, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, whose main risk factor is obesity, are also increasing. In addition, obesity promotes early spinal wear, joint damage, hormonal imbalances, cancer and many more diseases.
Lustig speaks in this context of a health crisis, which causes billions in costs. He sees in the low-fat campaign in the 70s, the beginning of the misery. At that time, fat was pilloried as an unhealthy fad. Instead of fat, sugar was added to the food. „We eat an average of 19.5 teaspoons of added sugar per day. "According to recommendations of the American Heart Association (AHA), women should not eat more than six and men a maximum of nine teaspoons, but one tablespoon of ketchup is already hidden a teaspoon of sugar and in a tin of lemonade up to ten spoons. (ag)
Picture: Jörg Brinckheger