Should sugar be regulated by the government?

By Krista Brooks

Published Monday, May 21, 2012 – The Daily 49er

Excessive amounts of sugar can lead to several health risks including obesity, tooth decay and heart disease. Sugar can cause addiction, hormonal imbalances, headaches and increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. These are just a few of the results of sugar intake over time.

New scientific studies show that among fatigue, pain and weakened immune systems, sugar also contributes to the way we think.

By testing two groups of rats in mazes they were trained for, one group showed a decrease in cognitive abilities over time. This group was given sugar in replace of water, and the other group excelled when given Omega-3 fatty acids.

The study conducted by University of California Los Angeles Professor Fernando Gomex-Pinilla concluded that sugar decreases our levels of intelligence as the health risks increase.

Gomez-Pinilla wrote in the Journal of Physiology, “Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain, where insulin appears to disturb memory and learning.”

The highest death rates derive from chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The major factors for these diseases are alcohol, tobacco, and junk food consumption, which all derive from sugar.

If alcohol and tobacco products are labeled with warnings and contribute to the same risks, why isn’t there a regulation on sugar? Where are all the warning labels?

The warning of addiction and obesity should be common sense. It should be implemented into our brains that sugar directly affects obesity and diabetes. Health facts and better meal suggestions should be available and more widely taught to American consumers. Sugar should not be regulated, but rather the risks and facts should be taught to individuals.

Adults and parents should be the regulators. Children should be raised with knowledge that too much of anything is detrimental, especially the intake of a substance with no nutritional value. Teachers, coaches and elders should teach and help their prosperity, not the government labels.

The US Department of Agriculture estimated that the average American consumes more than 47 pounds of cane sugar and 35 pounds or high-fructose corn syrup each year.

Sugar can become a serious addiction that can be fatal. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum researched the type of sugar addicts. His advice to the on-the-go “sweet-tooth” is to increase the Vitamin B in their diets and turn to licorice in place of sugary desserts to avoid developing ongoing anxiety. Teitelbaum advises chronically fatigued sugar addicts to sleep more and eat whole foods to avoid depression and other psychological disorders.

The health risks of sugar and “sweet-tooth” addictions are dangerous akin to substance abuse. Just as adults still buy drinks and cigarettes with warning labels, the amount of sugar consumed by Americans won’t drastically change with skull and crossbones picture. If the government wants to help this issue, sugar health risks should be incorporated into schools and work to educate parents and children. Regulation on amounts of sugar acquired would make sugar a novelty, something withheld and out-of-reach; inadvertently creating a greater urge and craving for the substance that is making us all stupid.

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