Annals of Health Law
HOW TO REGULATE TOXIC FOODS
National Director of Food, who would have sufficient authority to help
neutralize the impact that the food lobby has on food supply.
I. THE EVIDENCE OF SUGAR’S TOXICITY – THE SCIENCE
Sugar is a carbohydrate that for many years was assumed to be no better
or worse for our health than other carbohydrates. 23 Basic sugar, or sucrose,
comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. Additionally, high fructose corn
syrup is also included as sugar for purposes of this article. 24 Added sugar is
unnecessary for a healthy diet. 25 Calories from sugar are often called
“empty calories” because sugar has little or no nutritional value . Yet
Americans add many calories to our diets through sugar consumption. 26 In
fact, Americans have the highest rate of sugar consumption in the world. 27
The average American now consumes between 150-200 pounds of sugar a
year. 28 Sugar is not just a source of empty calories, however, it is also a
source of toxic calories. 29 There are biochemical reactions related to sugar
consumption that make it uniquely unhealthy. 30 As a result, it has been
described as a “chronic toxin.” 31
23. YUDKIN, supra note 8, at 1 (noting that our carbohydrate consumption shifted from
primarily wheat, rice and corn based starches to increased levels of sugar over the past 100-
24. See Taubes, supra note 1 (describing Dr. Robert Lustig’s famous lecture on sugar in
which Dr. Lustig explains, “[h]igh–fructose corn syrup, sugar – no difference. . . The point is
they’re each bad – equally bad, equally poisonous.”); see also infra notes 30-32.
25. DUFTY, supra note 8, at 27 (“From the Garden of Eden through thousands of years,
what we call sugar was unknown to man.”); see also YUDKIN, supra note 8, at 2 (noting that
while we all require healthy levels of sodium, “there is no physiological requirement for
26. There are 49 calories in every tablespoon of sugar. Katherine Zeratsky, Coffee
Calories: Sabotaging Your Weight-Loss Goal?, MAYO CLINIC, http://www.mayoclinic.com/
health/calories/NU00185 (last visited Jan. 8, 2013).
27. Lustig et al., supra note 8, at 28-29.
28. JEFFO’CONNELL,SUGARNATION: THEHIDDENTRUTHBEHINDAMERICA’S
DEADLIEST HABIT AND THE SIMPLE WAY TO BEAT IT 2 (Hyperion 2010); cf. MARION NESTLE,
WHAT TO EAT, 321 (2006) (noting the huge increase in sugar consumption between 1980
and 2004 during which time the consumption of high fructose corn syrup doubled); cf.,
Stephanie Strom, U.S. Cuts Estimate of Sugar Intake, N.Y. Times, Oct. 27, 2012, available
american.html?pagewanted=all (noting that many estimated sugar consumption at about 100
pounds per year and that a highly criticized USDA report placed the amount of per capita
sugar consumption at76.7 pounds per year.
29. Cf. Taubes, supra note 1.
30. See infra notes 33-41 and accompanying text.
31. See SAMANTHAQUINN,THEREALTRUTHABOUTSUGAR: DR.ROBERTLUSTIG’S
LECTURE, “SUGAR: THE BITTER TRUTH.” 19 [hereinafter THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT SUGAR]
(Quinn explains in print format what Dr. Lustig described in his lecture); see also Lustig,
supra note 8.