Debate Club

Should Sugar Be Regulated?

Should Sugar Be Regulated?

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:


The Arguments

#1
65 Pts
Sugar Taxes Are Unfair and Unhealthy

No – Sugar Taxes Are Unfair and Unhealthy

Patrick Basham Co-author of 'Diet Nation: Exposing the Obesity Crusade'

#2
62 Pts
Consumers Need to Be Empowered, Not Made Into Victims

No – Consumers Need to Be Empowered, Not Made Into Victims

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.

#3
53 Pts
Taxing Sugar Will Do More Harm Than Good

No – Taxing Sugar Will Do More Harm Than Good

Art Carden Assistant Professor of Economics at Rhodes College.

#4
5 Pts
Sugar Regulation Would Help Improve the American Diet

Yes – Sugar Regulation Would Help Improve the American Diet

Kristina Lewis Doctor and Researcher at the Obesity Prevention Program at Harvard Medical School

#5
-36 Pts
Sugars Have a Reasonable Place in Healthful Diets

Yes – Sugars Have a Reasonable Place in Healthful Diets

Marion Nestle Co-author of 'Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics'

#6
-39 Pts
Time to Tax Sugary Drinks

Yes – Time to Tax Sugary Drinks

Michael Jacobson Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest

#7
-39 Pts
Sugar Saturates Our Environment

Yes – Sugar Saturates Our Environment

Laura Schmidt Professor of Health Policy at the University of California-San Francisco


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