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The Dangers of too Much Sugar: What the Sugar Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

Elizabeth Renter
May 11th, 2013
Updated 05/08/2014 at 10:58 am
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sugarinsplitbag 263x164 The Dangers of too Much Sugar: What the Sugar Industry Doesn’t Want You to KnowFor years, the sugar industry has had to fight negative publicity – and for good reason. Sugar and all its sweet goodness has been blamed for childhood hyperactivity, cavities, diabetes, obesity, and cancer, among other things. But fought back the industry did, and they were largely successful, distracting consumers by blaming other culprits and spending heavily on positive marketing.

The Sugar Industry’s Lies

But the research continues to pile up. In an extensive Mother Jones piece, we learn just how much effort was put into the sugar industry’s campaign to keep the truth from us. Effort and money. The sugar people spent loads of cash on investigating the negative effects of sugar substitutes. And while we aren’t here to say things like aspartame are good for you, the sugar industry’s efforts were far from noble.

For instance, way back in 1942 a document was circulated among sugar cane and beet producers, giving them help in countering the anti-sugar campaign that (gasp!) was encouraging weight conscious women to forgo the sweet stuff. From 1975 to 1980, the Sugar Association spent over $650,000 funding 17 studies that would ultimately support the sugar industry. These studies suggested sugar may be good for depression and even weight management. And the list goes on.

Sugar is natural. But at the rate it is consumed by modern Americans, it is anything but healthful. The average American is said to consume about 70 grams of fructose each day. Children consume 7 trillion calories of sugar from beverages alone every year.

So, what’s the issue? Why should sugar consumption really matter?

It matters for several reasons, but primarily because sugar causes disease.

sweet graphic The Dangers of too Much Sugar: What the Sugar Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

The Dangers of too Much Sugar

In the latest of many studies on sugar’s negative effects, we learn that increased sugar intake equals an increased risk of diabetes, even with things like lifestyle, obesity, aging, and more accounted for. Though it stops short of causation, according to the researchers, it gets awfully close.

For every increase in sugar availability (equal to a can of soda per day) there was a 1 percent rise in diabetes. While 1% might not seem significant, consider how many people drink multiple sodas each week or even each day.

“No other food types yielded significant individual associations with diabetes prevalence after controlling for obesity and other confounders,” said the study published in PLoS One. “Differences in sugar availability statistically explain variations in diabetes prevalence rates at a population level that are not explained by physical activity, overweight or obesity.”

And if this wasn’t significant enough, further research published in Molecular Cell and reviewed here on NaturalSociety described exactly how sugar consumption and cancer risks are connected. Basically, sugar consumption causes the release of insulin by way of a specific protein. It’s this protein that is known to be a factor in the development of many types of cancer.

Companies will spend millions (and more) to convince you their product is safe for consumption. And it’s only through a concentrated effort and unbiased science that we are able to see these food products may not be everything they are promised to be. While it’s common sense that sugar isn’t a good weight loss aid, information on how it actually harms you is slightly harder to come by.

Additional Sources:

Mother Jones

From around the web:

  • ACupOfSugar

    Boy I read this and just want to rip my hair out.

    When is there ever going to be and honest discussion separate what is being termed or called sugar?

    Cane Sugar is not the same has HFCS, or sugar made with GMO’s or the sugars that change the Ammonia molecule (hello soda stream), or HONEY, etc. I ain’t even going to look all that up, I said it too many times, go search and learn the differences. You can’t borrow a “cup of HFCS from your neighbor” and when the corn is a GMO, you begin to see the true intent with the word-smithing propaganda, it’s not science, it’s fascism hiding truth for profit.

    As far as amounts of sugar, we are at an increase of factor of 200 times that of our ancestors. Our Great great grandparents had 200 times less. It’s increased over the years to what it is now. You can do the math how we all started eating so much, what’s on TV, what’s in the Cereal Isle? What is the government position on dangerous GMO, there ya go..

    But remember this kiddies before going drastic cold turkey or trying to remove sugar from blood, the body tries to maintain about a “teaspoon in your blood”, Reduce it by 2 and you will pass out and DIE, increase it by 2 and you’ll become diabetic, go into shock, and probably die.

    Honey is a better 1:1 sugar alternative. It is less sweet though, but has more good stuff. Good luck finding the real thing (another insanity), or even the Bees. I plant honeysuckle, it brings bees for my garden, but I don’t raise bees for the record.

    Hope ya post this..

  • Pascal

    Unrefined natural cane sugar cannot hurt you .coconut flower sugar ..natural sugar substitutes can come from the leaves of the salvia plant , educolorants from raw natural maple surop and natural fructose from pesticide free fruits are far better than refined sugars from cane ; sugars made from transgenetic beets ; high fructose corn surop ( made from gmo mais) ; or synthetic educolorants of the likes of sucralose aspartame or neotame

  • xtv310

    sugar is not the evil here. Gluttony of sugar is. People just do every thing in moderation please. Stop blaming the product. Sugar does not CAUSE diabetes. but it sure as heck is not good for you once you have it

    • @BlackHercules

      Sugar triggers the gluttony and there are numerous studies proving it. If actually reading isn't your thing begin here,

      • Susanne

        I liked what Dr Robert Lustig MD had to say about sugar . I thank you for this BlackHercules. But I have a problem with some issues. Yes eat less sugar( granted I only saw the one video) that theres no alternative wonder if we can take LIpten? The whole FOOD INDUSTRY has gotten out of hand.You can't lose weight with corn syrup, its impossible. The Food Industry are making us sick. So why intellectually Food manufactures create and improve on the food? Its funny how the corrupt ones always ends up getting us in trouble for the crap they make in the first place.
        Why is it always boils down to the consumer that gets blamed of not changing. We are so prgram to believe that they are treating us carefully in our digestive naturalism . I do thank you for the important website and just hope that raising taxes and making more laws isn't going to change things. The FOOD Industreis are killing us for money greed and control.. I not venting on you personally, Im just saying it all is amazing the the tables turn and, we are the problem? Don't get it? PS I LOVE this website , it is so informative, specially on the GMO ordeal, thank you for that.