Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Friday, 10 Jan 2014 05:00 PM

By Nick Tate

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Is sugar the new tobacco?
 
A British health experts thinks so and is mounting a global campaign to get other health professionals — and the general public — to sign on to his view that the consumption of sugary foods is as dangerous as smoking.
 
Simon Capewell, from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, is helping to spearhead an international "Action on Sugar" campaign that aims to cut the amount of added sugar in food and soft drinks to help tackle the obesity epidemic.
 
In a Medical Xpress report on the initiative, Capewell noted obesity is tied to millions of deaths a year, from heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions that could be curbed or prevented by cutbacks in sugar-laden foods and beverages.

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"Sugar is the new tobacco," he said. "Everywhere, sugary drinks and junk foods are now pressed on unsuspecting parents and children by a cynical industry focused on profit not health. The obesity epidemic is already generating a huge burden of disease and death … The public deserves effective action now."
 
Copewell and other health experts who have joined the campaign are urging people to become more aware of the damage that refined sugars have on health, and read the labels on food and drink products to avoid items with high levels of hidden sugars.
 
The effort also aims to convince the food and drink industry, as well as government regulators, to gradually reduce the sugar added to food products — comparable to similar efforts to cut added salt and fat from commercial foods.

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