DATE @ "MMMM d, y" November 14, 2018
Limiting Sugar Consumption
Sugar comes in many forms, including fructose, lactose, sucrose, and glucose. These forms can be divided into natural and added. Natural sugars include the ones found in fruits and lactose in milk, while added sugar includes sucrose like table sugar. However, added sugar is found in an unfathomable amount of products today and not in foods we expect either. According to the World Health Organization they suggest that only five percent of our daily calorie intake should consist of added sugars. For the average adult this only consists of about seven teaspoons. In perspective, one soda can contain seven teaspoons or more of sugar. This makes it very easy to pass the daily recommended intake, leading to overconsumption and many consequences including obesity and disease. However, the problem doesn’t stop with just being easy to surpass our recommended daily values as sugar is now made addictive for us to consume more. The dangers of sugar have raised questions about whether the government should be able to limit, control, and tax the use and consumption of sugar. In my opinion, the government should be able to set boundaries on our sugar consumption for our well being, especially due to the elusive toxic nature under which it is marketed.
Although I support that the government should be able to take such actions listed above, the other side may argue our sugar consumption can not be regulated by the government because sugar is not the same as other substances controlled by the government like alcohol and nicotine and is a part of our everyday lives in everyday foods. I agree that sugar is different from alcohol and nicotine, however, I see them being different in regard that these substances controlled by the government are openly marketed as potentially being dangerous and addictive while sugar is secretly dangerous and addictive. The opposing side may also argue that sugar is created from natural resources without the use of pesticides, reducing environmental impact. However, in counter this argument does not account for artificially made sweeteners, the ones really harming people and causing addiction.
Sugar should be able to be regulated or limited by the government for the well being of our health as it is secretly addictive and hidden in most products marketed, all while leading to many health related issues. In regards to the addictive unhealthy nature of sugar, this all ties into our brain chemistry and the impact sugar has on the brain. For example, sugar gets in the way of the brain recognizing the hormone leptin, which is responsible for the human body feeling full resulting in overconsumption. Other chemicals in the brain are altered by sugar, like dopamine, especially the hot spots close to the cerebral cortex, our reward system in the brain. When sugar is consumed, it goes to our cerebral cortex and activates our reward system encouraging the consumption of more sugar in order to keep the dopamine reward system going. This is particularly due to the fact that sugar continues to feel rewarding while normally the reward goes down for other foods when they are consumed consistently, emulating a similar chemical effect as drug addiction. Along with these products containing sugar being addictive, most products actually contain sugar and not in a clearly marketed way. For example, according to the Sugar is Killing Us video, eighty precent of items contain added sugar. I personally do not go to the store with the intent of purchasing mostly sugar, and I doubt most of us do. I think in general people know sugar is not healthy, however I doubt it is consumed with disease and severe consequences in mind. Some of these health consequences result from overworking the pancreas due to overconsumption of sugar, resulting in obesity, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. For example, according to the Sugar is Killing Us video, children in America are not anticipated to live past their parents for the first time ever due to obesity and other resulting health issues. Also, one third of adults are obese as a result of increase in fructose corn syrup, added sugar, being in products.
Overall, sugar should be able to be regulated or limited by the government as it can cause extreme harm to people in elusive and unclearly defined ways to the public. Therefore, it makes sense that the government should be able to intervene for the well being of the world and the world’s children whose families do not know what unhealthy cycle they are supporting for them and themselves. I think that by creating more public awareness, not purchasing or supporting added sugar products, and more strict parenting starting at a young age in regards to diet. If people are aware of the poisonous nature of sugar, I doubt they would be consuming, purchasing, or feeding their children added sugar products. Also, if people do not purchase these products in store and instead purchase more whole organic food, marketing will have to provide the public with better options. Even further, by parents implementing a stricter healthy diet at a young age, children can be spared this unhealthy addictive behavior and the negative baggage it causes before they know what they are doing or putting in their bodies, implanting healthier habits in the future.
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“Sugar Explained.” BBC Good Food, www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/sugar-