Sugar Addiction Drives Childhood Obesity

June 4, 2008 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Sugar Addiction Drives Childhood Obesity
It's obvious to just about anyone that excess sugar consumption makes you fat. Now we even have data to prove that excessive sugar consumption1, mostly from sweetened drinks like soda, is up at a rate that would require a 1 hour jog per day just to burn off the extra calories. Since most children aren't doing the exercise the excess sugar consumption is a driving force behind the obesity epidemic. How much high fructose diabetic syrup can any human being process?

I used to be of the opinion that it is a free country, if people want to consume that garbage then let them – it's their life. There are a few problems with that way of thinking. Excess sugar consumption, especially toxic substances like high fructose corn syrup, creates addiction that is as powerful as nicotine or alcohol. Parents are doing it to themselves and their children are following right along – especially in poorly educated and less well off segments of society.

In the coming health care reform, the staggering costs of self-inflicted obesity will be shared by those who have taken care of themselves – hardly a fair arrangement. Since the amount of money to care for the consequences of obesity could easily topple our economy and the costs will be disproportionately paid for by productive indivdiuals, our government should take action now to prevent class warfare and economic ruin.

Unfortunately, our government thinks the solution is in education and changing behavior. I'm sorry to inform them but most people already know what junk food is, they just eat it anyway because they are addicted to it. It seems that politicians don't have the guts to tackle this problem head on – dealing with the source of the issue. I hear a lot of talk about reducing the influence of lobbies in Washington, but I see little tangible action that steps on Big Pharma's toes or reduces the influence of the junk food industry.

The companies that are poisoning and addicting our citizens with garbage must be made to stop. Advertising of trash food (like unproven drugs) should be banned. Outlets and easy access to trash food must be reduced in any community. Exercise breaks must replace snack breaks in our public education system. Consulting the “intelligence” of an addicted consumer public is likely to have little benefit. The staggering costs of addiction to junk food will destroy our real freedom as a nation unless we act to restore a healthy food supply and teach children how to prepare food. Is there a candidate for president that has a real health plan?

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Sugar Beverage Intake and Obesity  Pediatrics  

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