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How Sugar Is Making You Sick

By    |   Friday, 02 January 2015 04:34 PM

Too much sugar can make you fat. But it also makes you sick. That’s the latest word from a team of scientists at the University of California-San Francisco that reviewed more than 8,000 scientific papers on sugar and found there is a strong link between the consumption of sweets and chronic diseases.
The researchers have launched an initiative to bring information on food and drink and added sugar, suggesting it is behind the rise in fatty-liver disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic disorders.
Lead researcher Laura Schmidt, a UCSF professor at the School of Medicine, said the team hopes to make the findings comprehensible and clear to everyone by posting them on a Website (SugarScience.org) and through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Medical Xpress reports. 
Added sugars, Schmidt explained, are those that don't occur naturally in foods, but are added to 74 percent of all packaged foods. They are known by 61 names and often are difficult for consumers to decipher on food labels.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires food companies to list ingredients on packaging, the suggested daily values of natural and added sugars can't be found.
The FDA is considering a proposal to require manufacturers to list information on sugars in the same way they do for fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, and protein.
"SugarScience shows that a calorie is not a calorie but rather that the source of a calorie determines how it's metabolized," said pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, a member of the SugarScience team and the author of "Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease."
Lustig said that more than half of the U.S. population is sick with metabolic syndrome — a group of risk factors for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and liver disease that are directly related to the excessive consumption of added sugars in the Western diet.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The American Diabetes Association says 29.1 million Americans, 9.3 percent, have diabetes. Of that number, 21 million have been diagnosed and 8.1 million have not, and the numbers continue to grow, according to the association. And the American Liver Foundation says at least 30 million Americans, one in 10, has one of 100 kinds of liver disease.
The average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons (78 grams) of sugar a day, substantially more than the amount recommended by the American Heart Association. The association sets these limits: 6 teaspoons (24 grams) for women, 9 teaspoons (36 grams) for men, and 3-6 teaspoons (12-24 grams) for children, depending on age. Just one 12-ounce soda contains 8 to 9 teaspoons (32-36 grams) of sugar.

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Too much sugar can not only make you fat, it can also make you sick. That's the latest word from a team of scientists at UCSF who reviewed more than 8,000 scientific papers on sugar, diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease.
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Friday, 02 January 2015 04:34 PM
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