Sugar As Dangerous As Smoking, Warns Dutch Health Chief
September 19, 2013

Sugar As Dangerous As Smoking, Warns Dutch Health Chief

[ Watch the Video: Sugar As Addictive As Alcohol ]

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Sugar is “the most dangerous drug of our time,” and should carry smoking-style health warnings, the head of Amsterdam's health service recently warned.

“Just like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is actually a drug,” wrote Paul van der Velpen in a column on the health agency’s website, adding that the substance is addictive and should be “tightly regulated.”

“This may seem exaggerated and far-fetched, but sugar is the most dangerous drug of this time,” and users should be made aware of these dangers, he said. “Just as with smoking labels, soft drinks and sweet products should come with the warning that sugar is addictive and bad for the health.”

According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average American man consumes 335 calories in added sugar each day, or 13 percent of his recommended daily calories. Women consume, on average, 11 percent of their recommended daily calories from added sugar, which provide calories but no nutritional value.

Sugar is also linked to chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

Van der Velpen said his warnings are based on research showing that sugar interferes with the body's appetite, creating insatiable urges to continue eating. The food industry uses this to increase consumption of their products, he said.

The health chief said he would like to see officials impose sugar taxes, along with legal limits on the amounts of sugar that can be added to food and drinks.

“Sugar is actually a form of addiction” as hard to break as a smoking habit, van der Velpen said.

Because of this, a more aggressive approach may be needed to help people lessen or eliminate their sugar consumption.

“Diets only work temporarily. Addiction therapy is better,” he concluded.