Sugar: Too Sweet For Your Health?

May 12, 2010
By Connor Rechtzigel BRONZE, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Connor Rechtzigel BRONZE, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

To many, giving a child a lollipop is almost suicidal; nobody wants to deal with a child that’s bouncing off the walls and showing other hyper related consequences a mere hour later. Because, after all, sugar does make us hyper, doesn’t it? Scientists have taken major leaps into discovering what exactly sugar does to our health. But, the real problem behind sugar is that Americans are developing a dangerously unhealthy addiction. Too few realize that this excess sugar they consume can actually lead to a plethora of health issues. Schools and parents are mainly regarded to as responsible for this, as well as sugar companies that refuse to truly tell consumers what hidden dangers their products possess. With sugar enveloping our lives in so many aspects, what myths and beliefs can we depict fact from fiction?
For a long time, parents have tried to discover the exact cause of their child’s temper tantrums, meltdowns and random bursts of hyper. Most resort to blaming a sugar related item such as a lollipop or a candy bar that was given to the child at a previous time. But truthfully, sugar can not be to blame for hyper activeness. An article from Dr. Spock reported on a study in which one hundred kids were put on an artificial, sugar filled diet. After recording their progress, they noted that only one child had any major differences in attitudes and behavior from before. We have simply accepted the fact that sugar “makes us hyper”, when in actuality, it does not affect hyper activity levels whatsoever. In a more reasonable sense, abc news noted that the thought of being on a “sugar high” makes us attain a feeling of energy and freedom. Sugar can actually be put to blame for our feelings of laziness and the “crash” that many receive after consuming energy drinks and other sugar rich products. In fact, sugar can be put to blame for a vast range of problems, with some being potentially very dangerous to our health.
Is there an exact solution for this problem? Many feel that it would be the easiest to simply cut out sugar from our diets completely. But, sugar is actually necessary for your health- just not in major overdoses. Being at the top of the food chain, it requires the least intake of any type of food, yet it is the category that is most frequently taken advantage of. According to the NPR, the average American consumes a massive 21 teaspoons of added sugar every day- nearly double of what was consumed on average thirty years ago. This added sugar is being consumed most prominently through soft drinks, in which consumption has risen nearly 61% per adult since 1977.
Sugar has been put to blame for increasing obesity levels in youth, as more and more parents are resorting to giving children food with high contents of sugar and restaurants insist upon putting high levels of sugar in their foods to create a sweeter, more appealing taste. This increased level of sugar also causes high blood sugar, leading to diseases such as type two diabetes, coronary heart disease, tooth decay, extra buildup of acids in the stomach, and even suppression of the immune system. The big sugar industry, also known as “Big Sugar”, realize that these problems exist but don’t acknowledge them, as the only true thing on their mind is money.

If we look at the approach tobacco industries use to sell their product, we can see that Big Sugar runs in the same system. Tobacco companies attempt to make their product look as though it does nothing to your health, while it actually can do much more harm then the side label states. According to an article from Natural News, Big Sugar does this with ease by fabricating their own words that are more appealing to buyers. An example of this fabrication can be seen by using words such as fructose, lactose, glucose, corn syrup, invert sugar, or malt. The simple difference is that buyers don’t pay attention to these synonyms and overlook them without realizing that they all mean the same thing- sugar.
Big Sugar has played with other words relating to sugar intake in other instances as well. The U.S. Depart of Agriculture (USDA) changed the previous statement of “limit our intake of added sugars” to “moderate your intake of sugars”. This change was initiated by Big Sugar bribing lawmakers to support them by giving them a total of $925,000 dollars. Though this may be only a small difference in words, it tells us that we don’t necessarily have to “cut back” on sugar, we simply need to consume it in “moderation”, or our normal sugar amounts. With Big Sugar investing so much money into getting consumers to buy their product, it’s no wonder that America has developed such an addiction.

As we can see, sugar has so much more behind it then the simple grainy substance that sweetens our everyday lives. America will always crave more and more sugar and children will always beg for another lollipop or candy bar. But, before taking that next lick or drink, consider the risks, as the unmasked conspiracies of sugar can be dangerous to us and our future health.

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