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Sugar Is So Toxic It Should be Regulated Like Alcohol, Researchers Say

Posted Feb 2, 2012 5:58 PM CDT
By Rachel M. Zahorsky

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Elevated risks for heart disease, liver failure and obesity are among the claims researchers are making a bid for stricter government regulation of sugar.

The toxicity of sugar to the human body and its detriment on society compares to alcohol and tobacco, according to a commentary in the current issue of the journal Nature by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, Yahoo News reports.

The worldwide obese population now greatly outnumbers the undernourished, according to the World Health Organization, and researchers propose taxes and age limits on all foods and drinks that include added sugar, and a ban on those products' sales in or near schools.

At issue among some scientists is how much the consumption of added sugar taxes the liver, causing fatty liver disease, and ultimately leading to insulin resistance, the underlying causes of obesity and diabetes, according to Yahoo News.

As economists and scientists debate the impact of high added sugar consumption, the report cites one dauntingly clear reality: chronic diseases related to diet such as heart diseases, diabetes and some cancers—for the first time in human history—kill more people than infectious diseases, according to the United Nations.

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