Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
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Rudd Radar

Researchers Call for Regulations on Sugar

February 1, 2012

Sugar is toxic and should be designated as a controlled substance, according to an editorial published in the journal Nature by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco. The researchers argued that sugar consumption can be reduced using strategies that have reduced alcohol and tobacco consumption, including taxing sugary foods and regulating sales.

"This paper adds yet more evidence that sugar consumption is a real public health problem," according to Kelly Brownell, PhD, Director of the Rudd Center. "In addition to the metabolic problems it creates, the body does not recognize calories very well when they are delivered in liquids, and far too many calories are in liquids because of soda and other sugared beverages. Research has also suggested that sugar activates the same brain reward pathways activated by highly addictive substances of abuse. There is abundant reason, therefore, to create policies, such as a tax on sugared beverages, to help decrease sugar consumption."