How could something so sweet be so bad for you? That’s exactly the point.
Sugar in all forms -- from the refined stuff in the bowl on your table to honey and high fructose corn syrup -- is a key contributor to many of our diet-related diseases and conditions, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer, according to Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.
According to recent estimates, about 16 percent of the total calories in American diets comes from added sugar -- mostly in the form of soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks, grain-based desserts like cakes and cookies, sugar-sweetened fruit drinks, ice cream and other dairy desserts and candy. These highly palatable foods and beverages contribute a lot of calories with few nutrients, and crowd out healthful fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and the nutrients those foods provide.
In an interview Sunday withDr. Sanjay Gupta on "60 Minutes", childhood obesity expert Lustig cited sugar as the source of an American public health crisis. While Americans' sugar intake has declined significantly since the 1970s, our diets are now filled with processed foods containing the artificial sweetener, high fructose corn syrup, the show reported. "The problem is they're both bad. They're both equally toxic," Lustig told "60 Minutes."