It’s Time to Treat Sugar Like Cigarettes

Close up of a Nutritional Label
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MAY 1, 2024 11:59 AM EDT

Hyman, MD, is a practicing family physician, an internationally recognized speaker, a best selling author, an educator, and an advocate in the fields of Functional Medicine, real food, nutrition, and wellness. Gutman is an inventor, a serial healthcare and technology pioneer and entrepreneur, a best selling author, a philanthropist, and a Stanford University adjunct professor

The food we eat impacts every aspect of our lives and our bodies: our hormones, brain chemistry, immune system, microbiome; the list goes on. As consumers, we deserve the right to easily understand our foods’ nutritional value in order to make informed decisions about what we consume and how that will impact our health and well being. This is especially important when it comes to ingredients that are detrimental when eaten in excess, such as sugar. As researchers in functional medicine, longevity, AI, and nutrition, as well as inventors of health-enhancing and life-saving solutions, we have dedicated our professional lives to improving the health and well-being of millions everywhere. And while we applaud the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) taking important strides to pass mandatory front-of-package labeling for packaged foods in the U.S., this is a change that cannot come soon enough. Everyone’s health depends on it. 

The FDA recommends adults consume no more than 50 grams of added sugar per day (based on a 2,000 calorie diet), but the average American consumes closer to one-third of a pound of sugar daily, more than three times the recommended amount. To put that into perspective, the average American consumes over 100 pounds of sugar per person per year. With that much sugar consumption, it is no wonder that 49% of American adults are diabetic or pre-diabetic. What’s worse is that much of the sugar we consume occurs without our even realizing it. There are over 60 different ways sugar is identified on nutrition labels, making a consumer’s attempt to regulate their sugar intake unfairly complicated.

Source: Time