Since 1998, while quitting sugar on doctor’s orders, the subject has astounded and enthralled me. In short, I’ve been absolutely astonished by a variety of Sugar Shockers! Today begins a new Sugar Shocker! feature, which I’ll post from time to time. As you may know, I included a variety of Sugar Shockers in my first book, Sugar Shock (2007). Here’s the first such entry.
It’s hard to believe, but as William Dufty recounts in his landmark book, Sugar Blues, refined white sugar was locked up back in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe and America.
At the time, the substance was so expensive (the equivalent of about $30 a pound or a year’s salary for the average working man) that it was considered a delicacy reserved for the very wealthy, and the nobility certainly didn’t want their servants stealing such an exorbitantly expensive substance.
To this day, Unani healers or hakims in Afghanistan reportedly keep sugar under lock and key, believing it to be a narcotic.
That woman is th health and fitness pioneer, Kathie Dolgin, aka High Voltage (seen to your left), who has spend 12 years spearheading a pro program, Energy Up, which is designed which helps helps school children become what she dubs “sugar savvy,”
In the segment, Voltage then displays how much sugar is contained in a bottle of soda, a granola bar and a milk shake. (Like other health advocates, Voltage suggests that kids consume no more than 24 grams of sugar in 24 hours. That comes to 6 teaspoons.)
Now, watch the last episode of Katie’s sugar segment and learn about the benefits gained by a family, who took the sugar challenge.f you don’t feel ready to let go of sugar, I invite you to discover, Is it Sugar You Crave or Sweetness in Your Days?
Special thanks to Online Nursing Programs for this special graphic, “Nursing Your Sweet Tooth,” which illustrates our massive increase in sugar consumption over the years.
By the way, the figure for today’s total is too low — the average American consumes more like 150 or even 170 pounds of sugar per year, according to my research — but this chart still gives you an idea of the massive upswing on sugar consumption from the early 1800s.
Did you know that the formerly overweight actor Alec Baldwin is now a reformed sugar and carb addict, who used to consume “a fish-tanked sized bowl of pasta” and other sweets but now is a sugar-free crusader?
“New research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions is starting to find that sugar could be a driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers.”
Of course, this sugar-is-toxic conclusion — which has been gaining momentum for years — is nothing new to those of you, who are regular visitors to this Sugar Shock Blog and to readers of my first book, Sugar Shock, which was first published in 2007.
For my part, I’m thrilled that “60 Minutes” is devoting time to explore the question of whether or not sugar is toxic. I’ve been hoping for such a segment for years.
What I find especially exciting is that Dr. Gupta will spotlight the close cancer-sugar connection, which I also explored in my book, Sugar Shock.
I also examine recent sugar-can-cause-cancer research in my upcoming book, Beyond Sugar Shock, which is being published in June by Hay House. (In the book, I guide readers to eaily break free of their sugar addiction by joining me in a fun, six-week Mind-Body-Spirit adventure.)
Dr. Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, is not alone in his sugar-is-toxic view.
Indeed, many cutting-edge physicians, including Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, medical consultant for my book Sugar Shock, contend that the high amount of sugar in the American diet is killing us. (By the way, I disagree with the low figures usually cited — most Americans consume far more than the 130 or 150 pounds a year that’s often mentioned in news reports.)
While I applaud “60 Minutes” for telling the nation that sugar can be toxic, I also need to congratulate Dr. Mehmet Oz for his important work drawing attention to sugar’s dangers in several episodes of the top-rated “The Doctor Oz Show.”
Stay tuned for some compelling points that you’ll get from these amazing speakers.
These are the experts lined up.
Michael Prager, Author, Fat Boy Thin Man Nicole Avena, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Florida Eric Stice, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Oregon Research Institute Dr. Vera Ingrid Tarman, MD., MSc., FCEP, CASAM, Medical Director, Renascent Elissa Epel, Ph.D., Associate Professor, UCSF Department of Psychiatry Robert H. Lustig, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, in the Division of Endocrinology at UCSF
Now read the enticing description:
Addiction is about brains, not just about behaviors. We all have the brain reward circuitry that makes food rewarding; it’s a survival mechanism. In a healthy brain, these rewards have feedback mechanisms for satiety or “‘enough.” For some, the circuitry becomes dysfunctional such that the message becomes “more.” Michael Prager, author of Fat Boy Thin Man, will begin the discussion telling his very personal story of recognizing and then seeking treatment for his food addiction. Leading researchers and clinicians will discuss many aspects of this important topic.
You, of course, know how easy it is to get hooked on sweets — and how incredibly challenging and difficult it can be to break free of your sugar addiction.
(In fact, because breaking free from sugar is so tough, I've devoted an entire book to take you on a fun, empowering journey so you can easily let go of your addiction. Beyond Sugar Shock — which will be published in June and which you can pre-order now — is designed to hold you by the hand and guide you to what I call Sugar Freedom.)
So since sugar is addictive, should this commonplace but potentially harmful (even deadly) substance be regulated?
They argue that sugar should be controlled like alcohol and tobacco to protect public health.
Indeed, Dr. Lustig, along with Laura Schmidt, Ph.D., Claire Brindis, D.P.H. and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), contend that sugar’s potential for abuse, coupled with its toxicity and pervasiveness in the Western diet, make it a primary culprit of this worldwide health crisis.
They maintain that sugar is fueling a global obesity pandemic, contributing to 35 million deaths annually worldwide from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The authors then advocate taxing sugary foods and controlling sales to children under 17.
According to their statistics, reported on CBS New’s HealthPop, worldwide sugar intake has tripled in the last 50 years, and the average person is taking in a whopping 500 calories from added sugar in processed foods alone.
The Environmental Working Group arrived at its frightening sugar findings after studying 84 popular brands of cereal, many of them marketed directly to children, to see if they meet either the federal government’s proposed nutrition guidelines or the industry’s looser nutrition guidelines.
And the EWG found lots about sugar, sugar, sugar.
Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, which has nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, leads the list of the 10 worst children’s cereals, according to EWG’s analysis.
In fact, the EWG found, a one-cup serving of the brand contains more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie.
Meanwhile, one cup of any of the 44 other children’s cereals has more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! cookies.
Here’s EWG’s list of the 10 worst cereals.
10 Worst Children’s Cereals Based on percent sugar by weight
1.) Kellogg’s Honey Smacks
2.) Post Golden Crisp
3.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow
4.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries
5.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original
6.) Quaker Oats Oh!s
7.) Kellogg’s Smorz
8.) Kellogg’s Apple Jacks
9.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries
10.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original
Of course, this EWG report comes as no surprise to me, given that I often share information about sugar’s pervasiveness and its dangers, as I did in my first book, Sugar Shock.
So why should you care about your kids eating so much sugar for breakfast?
As the EWG points out, studies suggest that children who eat breakfasts that are high in sugar have more problems at school.
For instance, they become more frustrated and have a harder time working independently than kids who eat lower-sugar breakfasts, as the EWG noted. And by lunchtime, these kids who filled up on sugar for breakfast have less energy, are hungrier, show attention deficits and make more mistakes on their work.
Kudos to the Environmental Working Group for sharing this important news.
Wondering what’s a good breakfast then? Well, for starters, why do your kids have to have cereal to start the day?
But if they do, make sure, as nutrition expert Marion Nestle, Ph.D., recommends that you pick:
Cereals with a short ingredient list
Cereals high in fiber.
Cereals with little or no added sugars (such as honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn sweetener, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup and malt syrup).
An easy breakfast for children would be a piece of fresh fruit (like an orange or apple), a cooked of steel cut oats (sprinkled with cinnamon), some plain milk (if they can handle dairy), and a hard boiled egg (prepared the night before).
Have you heard yet that my next book, Beyond Sugar Shock, is due out next year? Stay tuned for details.
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