Professor Lustig of the University of California has warned the US that measures need to be taken in order to curb the rising incidence of obesity. The call has particular significance for American children who face risks of early development of type 2 diabetes.
The comment on sugar in American society, which appeared in the scientific Nature journal, draws attention to the fact that there is often a lack of choice in parts of American, with sugar having become an almost unavoidable substance.
The professor of paediatrics notes the similarities between sugar and controlled substances such as tobacco and alcohol and feels that the US should treat sugar in a similar way, “These simple measures, which have all been on the battleground of American politics, are now taken for granted as essential tools for our public health and well-being. It’s time to turn our attention to sugar.”
Sugar meets the same criteria used to regulate alcohol in that it can act as a toxin if over-consumed, it has addictive properties and can be viewed as having negative consequences on society.
Prof Lustig lists a tax on sugary foods as one of a number of measures that could be take, including having a ban on sales of sugary foods during school hours, putting an age limit on sugary drinks and controlling the numbers of fast food outlets in a given location.

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