Doctor says sugar is poison
7 Healthcast: Doctor says sugar is poison
SAN FRANCISCO -- Three-year-old Nola Kim is on cloud nine as she wanders around the candy barrel store and dumps handfuls of candy into a basket.
Her father, Donny, isn't worried about bringing home all of these sweets.
"It's like something for her when she does something good. Like a little treat,” he said. “She likes candy... she plays with candy more than she eats it."
But one of San Francisco's leading pediatric endocrinologists says sugar is essentially poison and is the cause of chronic health issues ranging from obesity to heart disease. Dr. Robert Lustig says it's time for the country to put restrictions on sugar in the same way it already does for tobacco and alcohol.
"I believe that we need some sort of societal intervention,” he said. “I don't believe that if you've got a substance that's both toxic and addictive at the same time that we can do this alone."
Lustig says sugar has qualities that make it particularly dangerous including unavoidability because it's found in 80 percent of all foods, negative impact on society in terms of healthcare expenditures and abuse.
"Sugar promotes the same phenomena in the brain that addictive substances do," he said.
Gabby Vogelboel says Lustig's suggestion to place taxes on things like candy in order to regulate sugar consumption might keep her from buying as much of it.
"I'd think twice but maybe they should do it in a way that you can only buy a certain amount," she said.
Food and beverage industries deny sugar has a significant role in America’s health problems.
Industry representatives point to an overall trend toward inactive lifestyles and increased calorie intake as the cause.
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