So Long, Sweet Stuff!

by Anne Bennett on April 22, 2011

We were enjoying springlike weather here in the Midwest until this week, when overcast skies and rain returned and spoiled the mood. It spoiled mine, anyway. Maybe it’s not the weather. Maybe it’s the continually dismal breaking news updates dispatched to my iPhone and iPad which I receive several times a day. Sometimes technology does us no favors.

Hence, I am uncharacteristically crabby. OK. Perhaps it is characteristic, but it’s nonetheless irksome.¬†As Elaine so eloquently put it on Seinfeld, “Yada, yada, yada.”

See what I mean?

And now for something really depressing. (What else did you expect after that intro?)

Last Sunday’s New York Times’ Magazine cover story was titled, “Is Sugar Toxic?” The article featured the research of Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatrician at UC San Francisco School of Medicine who specializes in childhood obesity.

Lustig is no friend of the sugar industry. His passionate argument that sugar, namely fructose, is responsible for the worldwide obesity crisis has recently gained ground as more and more studies come to the same conclusion. But he goes further than that. He believes that sugar is killing us, indirectly, perhaps, but as surely as if we pulled a trigger on a gun.

According to his research, consuming as much sugar as we do causes fat to accumulate in our livers, which can lead to insulin resistance and consequently to obesity, diabetes and even heart disease.

See? I told you it was depressing. Our sweet diet is now a risk factor for heart disease. And as they say in those hokey TV commercials, “But wait! There’s more!”¬†Current international studies are attempting to establish a link between sugar consumption and cancer, on the premise that increased insulin secretion promotes tumor growth. Are you gagging on your Snickers yet?

If you’d like to join me in the doldrums, click here for an ABC news report on Dr. Lustig. His children can be seen briefly during the interview, and if you’re like me, you won’t know whether to be happy for them or feel sorry for them.

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