Sugar is always a topic of interest, but it will be talked about for then next few weeks with the latest release of Gary Taubes new book, The Case Against Sugar.
Gary Taubes was one of the first writers with a scientific background to cogently critique diet and weight loss research, with an eye toward the political side of the topic. In this book he goes a step farther and lays out the case against sugar, how it is detrimental to our health on a variety of levels, and also details the history of the sugar lobby in Washington, and how it adversely influenced dietary recommendations about the government and ultimately caused a general worsening of health of the american populace.
Many of his comments and criticisms are important insights that are a wake up call to us all. When he states that America’s consumption of sugar and high fructose corn syrup has played a role in the diabetes and obesity epidemic in the country he is spot on, but he goes further and claims that sugar has a major influence on dementia, heart disease, and cancer in America. This connection is more complicated and of questionable significance. There are many strong connections to these disease: for dementia, older age is clearly the greatest risk factor for developing this condition, and for heart disease and cancer, tobacco is a greater influence by far. Whether sugar has an influence on these conditions is unclear and I think it’s enough to implicate sugar in weight issues and diabetes, without confusing the commentary and connecting it to every serious chronic health condition that bedevils americans.