March 23, 2009

In The News: Is Sugar's "Time Out" Over?

The New York Times recently profiled sugar's triumphant return.

"Blamed for hyperactivity in children and studied as an addictive substance, sugar has had its share of image problems," the paper reports, "but the widespread criticism of high-fructose corn syrup has made sugar look good by comparison."

As much as the The Sugar Association loves this shift in consumers' attitudes, I am absolutely dismayed that the issue at stake is whether sugar is more nutritious than high fructose corn syrup.

A much more accurate -- and healthful -- concept would be to simply decrease the intake of added sugars, period.

I understand the political, economic, environmental, and farming business implications behind high-fructose corn syrup that make it a bigger threat than sugar, but the fact remains that eating 100 grams of added sugars each day -- whether as high fructose corn syrup or sugar -- adds up to 400 extra calories.

Dr. Robert H. Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco Children’s Hospital sums it up perfectly: “The argument about which is better for you, sucrose or HFCS, is garbage. Both are equally bad for your health.”

1 comment:

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