By Teresa Welsh |
A recent study published in the journal Nature suggested that sugar, including sucrose and high fructose corn syrup, should be considered as toxic as other substances deemed harmful to public health, such as alcohol or tobacco, and thus deserving of government regulation. The paper, authored by Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt, and Claire Brindis, recommended a number of measures that could curb consumption, including taxes on sugar, restrictions placed on advertisement, and even age requirements on purchasing sugary foods. However, many are skeptical of these recommendations, arguing among other things that if the government did take such actions, it would be infringing on personal freedom. Proponents argue that the many diseases caused by the overconsumption of sugar cost the public in insurance premiums and taxes, and that similar measures have been taken on other unhealthful substances. Opponents say regulations would be futile, if not overexcessive and even harmful to society. Should sugar be regulated? Here is the Debate Club's take:
Keith T. Ayoob Director of the Nutrition Clinic at the Rose F. Kennedy Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Kristina Lewis Doctor and Researcher at the Obesity Prevention Program at Harvard Medical School