Sugar, we all love it. Even if we don’t eat piles of candy we Americans still injest loads of it in our other foods, bread, other processed foods, soda, juice, in our morning coffee. The USA has a sweet tooth and it’s costing us. Literally.
Sugar is a highly subsidized commodity.
Lawmakers across the political spectrum, from Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), support using taxpayer dollars to subsidize the American sugar industry. In the House, 46 percent of members—109 Democrats and 92 Republicans—received money from American Crystal Sugar in this election cycle.
The program that supports the American sugar industry has many facets. Most infamous is a subsidy program in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture gives loans to sugar farmers and allows them to repay those loans with raw sugar if sugar prices fall below 20.9 cents per pound. This program functions as an effective mass purchase of sugar, which drives up prices for consumers and thus doubly subsidizes the industry. The USDA then sells this sugar at a steeply discounted price to ethanol producers. Last year the USDA spent $53.3 million on the program. Including the loans that could not be repaid, the government spent $171.5 million.
But it’s not just that we are subsidizing sugar, it’s that we are probably also subsidizing disease.
Obviously we are not food Nazis. We think you should be able to eat whatever you want. (Be careful with that fugu.) But it seems pretty stupid to subsidize something which it looks like does quite a lot of harm.
If the market says people want mountains of sugar so be it. But we shouldn’t be actively manipulating the marketplace to encourage ingestion of the stuff.
That’s our issue. Eliminate the subsidies and sugar consumption will probably go down. We don’t need lots of new regs around sugar in food. What we need is to stop propping the sugar industry.
(From Medical Xpress)
Liquid sugar in sodas, energy drinks and sports drinks is the leading source of added sugar in the American diet. That represents 36 percent of all added sugars consumed, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. And because liquid does not include fiber, the body processes it quickly. That causes more sugar to be sent to the pancreas and liver than either can process properly, and the resulting buildup of sugar leads to heart disease, diabetes and liver disease.
Consuming too much sugar causes the level of glucose sugar in the bloodstream to increase. That, in turn, causes the pancreas to release high levels of insulin that cause the body to store extra calories as fat.
Too much insulin also affects the hormone leptin, a natural appetite suppressant that signals the brain to stop eating when full. But the imbalance of insulin levels caused by the intake of too much sugar causes lipid resistance, and the brain no longer gets that signal.