Should Sugar Be Considered a Toxin?

Some researchers say yes

Should sugar be taxed?

Ever since Denmark's "fat tax" and France's "Cola tax," health advocates have been buzzing about taxing fatty foods and sweetened dishes. But could sugar ever be classified alongside tobacco as a toxin?

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco argue that sugar is so detrimental to the body, it should be considered a toxin.

In the international journal Nature, the researchers propose a tax on all foods and drinks with added sugar, banning sales in and around schools, and placing age limits for purchases (the proposed age limit is 17).

On average, Americans consume about 40 teaspoons worth of added sugar a day. The sucrose from table sugar and high fructose corn syrup affect the liver more directly than natural sugars from fruits, the researchers noted. Problems with the liver can ultimately lead to obesity and diabetes.

Researchers also emphasized that natural sugar from fruits, instead of added sugar, used to be the only source of sugar for humans. "Nature made sugar hard to get; man made it easy," they wrote.

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