Center for Consumer Freedom Disputes Hyped-Up Charge that Sugar is “Toxic”

Today the Center for Consumer Freedom is firing back against Sunday’s “60 Minutes” segment by Dr. Sanjay Gupta that calls sugar “toxic.” The segment is based off of a recent Nature commentary piece by Dr. Robert Lustig that calls for sugar to be heavily regulated like alcohol and tobacco.

J. Justin Wilson, Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom, released the following statement disputing the “60 Minutes” piece:

Dr. Robert Lustig’s argument to regulate sugar like alcohol and tobacco is social engineering at its absolute worst. Obesity is a complicated issue with myriad solutions. Suggesting that simply cutting out one ingredient is essentially the cure-all to diseases and weight loss in America shows just how out-of-touch Dr. Lustig’s harebrained proposal truly is.

Study after study demonstrates that targeting a single ingredient as the primary cause of obesity is the wrong approach to weight loss. Weight gain is a function of simple mathematics: calories “in” (food) exceed calories “out” (exercise). But food scolds, like Dr. Lustig and many others, concentrate their policy-making largely on only one side of the equation, calories in.

Americans are already making voluntary changes necessary to stay healthy. A newly published study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionfound that Americans are eating 3.5 percent fewer calories today than they were in 2000, and have cut their sugar intake by six teaspoons per day.

Responsible professional advocates should focus on promoting eating in moderation and holistic approaches to healthy living, not scaring and confusing the public with hyperbolic attacks on a single ingredient.