The average American consumes almost seven ounces of sugar every day, or 130 pounds per year. While excess sugar consumption has long been linked to weight gain, new research by Dr. Robert Lustig ’77 indicates that sugar consumption in the U.S. is a public health crisis and can lead to type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Lustig appeared on the April 1, 2012 episode of the CBS program 60 Minutes to discuss the serious toll sugar can have on one’s health.
From 60 Minutes (April 1, 2012):
Central to Dr. Lustig’s theory is that we used to get our fructose mostly in small amounts of fruit–which came loaded with fiber that slows absorption and consumption–after all, who can eat 10 oranges at a time? But as sugar and high fructose corn syrup became cheaper to refine and produce, we started gorging on them.
Dr. Lustig believes those sweeteners are helping fuel an increase in the most deadly disease in America: heart disease. For years, he’s been a controversial voice.
Lustig, who was profiled in the March/April 2012 issues of Technology Review magazine, advocates a balanced diet and recommends that women consume only 100 calories of added sugar per day and men no more than 150, or the equivalent to one 12 ounce can of Coca-Cola.
What’s your take? Do you feel that eliminating sugar wrongly vilifies one food and, as the U.S. Sugar Association advocates, more focus should be put on reducing calories and exercising? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments section below.