Sugar Is at the Heart of America’s Health Problems
Sugar Is at the Heart of America’s Health Problems by FS Staff
Americans are increasingly afflicted with chronic obesity and diabetes. While the medical community struggles with how to tackle these problems, it’s becoming clear that the culprit may be an ingredient common to the majority of processed foods.
This time on Financial Sense Newshour, we spoke with Gary Taubes, author of several books, including his latest release, The Case Against Sugar, where he argues that America’s addiction to sweet, processed foods is by far one of the main contributing causes for widespread health problems in the US.
Conventional Thinking Is Incorrect
The conventional thinking on obesity is that we become overweight because we consume more calories than we expend, Taubes stated.
The explanation implies that as populations become more affluent and more appetizing foods are available, and we have less reason to do manual labor or exercise, we therefore develop an issue with caloric imbalance.
“This is a very naïve way to think about a very complex physiological defect akin to a growth defect,” Taubes said.
We can find non-affluent populations in which malnourished children are not getting enough calories to survive, and yet the same population has obese adults, Taubes pointed out.
The explanation is likely that sugar creates a hormonal setup in the human body that, among other negative effects, channels calories into fat tissue and remains there, he added.
“It all argues for a hormonal, regulatory explanation for obesity that’s triggered by something in our diet,” he said. “The prime suspect has always been and still is sugar.”
Diabetes’ Smoking Gun?
There are two significant types of diabetes. Type I is the acute form that generally develops in childhood and is an insulin-deficiency disorder where the pancreas doesn’t secrete enough insulin to cope with carbohydrate load in our diets. Type I cases represent a few percent of all diabetes cases.
Type II is a chronic condition, it doesn’t kill as quickly, and is a disorder of insulin resistance, Taubes stated.