« Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee | Main | There’s No Place Like the Neighborhood: Tracie McMillan on Applebee's and the American Dream »

02/13/2012

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ian Brocksieper

Question 1.

I thought that Allday's statement was too harsh. That there are more factors than just sugar that affect the diets and sugar is not the only casue of many health problems. The rest of the article did not change my opinion on this. It would not completely change the health of every overweight american by banning it and over regulating sugar. While excess sugar may be part fo the problem, there are so many other issues that have caused Americans to be become obese and overweight that it would not be smart to regualate where and when sugar can be sold.

Mercedes Handley

What Allday said was a bit extreme. Sugar can be a "toxic, addictive substance" if used the wrong way, but saying that it should be regulated like a tax is ridiculous. The rest of the article did not change my mind. The reason so many people are overweight is not to be fully blamed on sugar, but it is everything they eat.

Joel La Scala

Allday's statement was completely off-base. Sugar isn't even close to being the main culprit of the health crisis, and even if it was, there would be absolutely no just reason to censor or heavily tax it. American's are free to consume whatever they want in whatever capacity they want, and the government should play no role in monitoring that. The government's only responsibility is to make sure that food companies don't deceive people in regards to what they put in their products. Beyond that, it is 100 percent up to the consumer to choose what they put in their bodies, healthy or not.

Malath Alrobaye

Question 1.
My first impressions about this article was like "wow". I defiantly thought that Allday's statement was too over stressed and didn't correlate with the real problems that our society is going through.There are defiantly more issues or factors other than just sugar that affect the poor diets. Sugar could be one factor but it sure not the main factor. Factors such as not exercising and eating junk food all the time would make more sense than i portrayed the great dangers of sugar. The rest of the article did not really change my mind or opinion on this issue. Just by banning sugar would not change the health of the overweight americans. Banning would only make people want to do it more. The right of the individual would be stripped right from him or her. Having too much sugar may be part of the problem we are looking at but their are many other major factors that contribute to it. What would really work is having workshops to inform individuals about the harm of excess sugars.

Matthew Jensen

I was pretty shocked when I read the opening sentence. That is quite a claim, but seems a little narrow minded was some of my initial response. What about those people who sit on the couch all day? What about the people who choose to not eat vegetables or fruit? Should these things be treated like alcohol and drugs too? They also play a role in America's unhealthy state. We should be more educated about what we are putting into our bodies. Needless to say my first reactions were not changed.

Austin BigSwanDog Swanson

Question 1: My initial reaction to the reading that sugar is in the same league as alcohol and tobacco was shock. I have always believed that it was more of a lack of exercise problem, not a sugar problem. After reading the rest of the article and seeing that there is a definitive relationship between sugar and illness, not just obesity and illness, I was even more shocked that I had been wrong.
Question 2: I believe Allday's report did a splendid job at keeping a neutral stance. It seemed as if every time she would say something leaning towards one side or the other, she would stick in someone else's name. She also used a lot of studies to aid her report, which is not her stating a bias, but facts.
Question 3: Allday gives the people she interviewed good credentials. For Robert Lustig she stated that he is a doctor, and a pediatric endocrinologist. She references Dr. Lustig more than the others, but she makes sure to state that the others are public health experts. Everyone referenced in this article is given a title, giving the paper an aura of intelligence.
Question 4: I believe raising the taxes on "heavily sweetened foods and beverages" would definitely reduce the food control of consumers. The main reason I think this would help is that it would help even the price gap among the really healthy foods and the "easy and ready" sugar foods. Yes, people would still have cravings, but it is much easier to say no when you would have to spend a good amount of money to satisfy the craving. Michael Pollen would support the increased tax, believing that the fast food industry has become too powerful. Radley Balko and Judith Warner would think that this tax would not make much of a difference. They believe that it is up to the consumer to decide what they do and do not eat, and price is not going to make much of a difference.
Question 5: I do not believe that public policies against sugar would work as well as it has against tobacco and alcohol. The biggest reason for this is that tobacco and alcohol are not mixed into so many things people consume every single day. When you use tobacco or alcohol, it is done with the purpose of getting a 'buzz' or intoxicated. People eat food to satisfy their hunger, which is a necessary part of life, although they could be satisfying it in a healthier way. Another reason that public policies would not work is that sugary foods do not have the immediately noticeable effects as tobacco and alcohol. Sugar does not turn instantly to fat. Those are the main reasons I believe that public policies against sugar would not work as well as it has against tobacco and alcohol.

Alejandra B.Martinez

I believe the article makes a good point in stating that sugar is not the only problem, but it is a big problem. I agree with taking sugar products out of the schools and putting healthier choices for children to eat. The author is partially right, when he states, “’The only method for dealing with this is a public health intervention,’ Lustig said in an interview. ‘Everyone talks about personal responsibility, and that won't work here, as it won't for any addictive substance. These are things that have to be done at a governmental level, and government has to get off its ass.’” It is true, the government needs to step up and does something or people will never stop harming their bodies with chemicals like sugar, but it is not the government’s sole responsibility to take things like sugar out of their reach. Although the government can play a big role in helping people, educating citizens, to make healthier choices, people also have to be willing to choose wisely. Unfortunately, for some people, the sugary products are all they can afford. Because of the economic hardship, some people are now recurring to the cheap products in order to be able to afford food for their families. It does not sound like a healthy living but that is what they can survive on.

Although taking sugar off the shelves or making it less affordable for people will not solve the entire problem for healthcare it can be a good start into a healthier America. It is a lot cheaper to buy unhealthy products (which include sugary foods, salty foods, foods high in cholesterol and fat, and mainly foods served at fast food restaurants) but if the government starts to make those products less affordable for people (starting with sugar), I think people would be forced to buy the healthier products. People will complain that the government should not be allowed to control what people should or should not eat but if people are not willing to take care of themselves then who will? I would see it as one of the many ways the government is keeping its citizens safe.

Michael Dulong

First, I would like to say I agree with this article of how it makes a point that sugar is a big problem for health issues. The article says sugar is like alcohol and tobacco because it is addictive. I agree that it is addictive, but I do not think it should be highly regulated with taxes. Sugar can also lead to risk of heart disease, but usually that takes many years for that to happen. It is a good thing they took out sodas out of the schools because it was not healthy for young kids to be consuming so much sugar. I agree with this because sugar is also a factor that leads to obesity. As for myself, I love to drink soda. I cannot go a meal without having a soda. And after reading this article, I might think about choosing water to drink instead now. But I know after a couple of days I will just go back to drinking soda for every meal again. So I can relate to how drinking soda can be addicting. Also, another reason why soda is unhealthy is that it ruins your teeth. Soda can make you get cavities or make your teeth yellow. People love soda so much that it would be nearly impossible to put a ban on it. For example, in New York they tried to ban soda, but they failed to do so because so many people were against it. And because of this incident, fast food restaurants retaliated and started selling any size drinks for only one dollar. Theoretically, if sugar were to be off the shelves people would be more inclined to purchase healthier choices. Even though I really enjoy sugary foods and beverages I still agree that sugar is not healthy to have in our diets. Lastly, the only option to having people change their diet is to educate them. This means using articles like this one to inform people about what sugar can do to their health and maybe they might think about changing their eating and drinking habits. So this is why I agree that sugar is not good for your health in any way.

Enlgish 1C
Prof. Greenberg

Maddy Sukoru

I do not agree with Erin Allday's "War on Sugar" article. Allday calls for a governmental regulation on sugary foods in her article, citing that sugar is responsible for a number of metabolic conditions that lead to illness. The author wants to remove sugar from the American culture but the irony in that way of thinking is the American culture was built on freedom. Freedom is the foundation of our society, whether it be freedom of religion, freedom of press, or the freedom to eat whatever our hearts desire. I for one feel that our nation is regulated enough. We as adults decide our own diets and no matter how unhealthy that diet may be, it is ours. Rather than regulate sugar consumption we should educated more Americans on the topic, by bringing awareness to the health risk caused by over indulging in surgery sweets. We face danger at every turn in life that is no reason for us to live in fear or for the government to regulate the amount of sugar in our foods. I am aware that obesity is a major problem in our nation but however, obesity is problem that must be solved by education and not regulation. I am holding on to my right to indulge in sweets however unhealthy and harmful that right may be it is ,u choice and I alone will suffer the consequences, well I and the other people paying into my health insurance.

Marshall Cook

I honestly cannot compare tobacco or alcohol to sugar. The reason is that few items contain tobacco, some items contain alcohol, but there are an abundant amount of items that contain sugar. Yes, sugar is dangerous and not many are aware of the fact just how dangerous it is. However, smoking or chewing tobacco has no health benefits whatsoever and neither does alcohol to a certain extent. Although the anti-oxidants found in red wine is a good counter-argument. But sugar on the other hand does, it provides the body with carbohydrates used for kinetic energy. I understand the point that the UCSF scientists are making. Basically, sugar is bad, but regulation is not the answer. There is a reason why alcohol has an age restriction. It is because alcohol strongly affects the human body when motor vehicles are being operated. Before, the drinking age was 18+, but after many fatal accidents, age restriction had to have been set forth. Sugar meanwhile is just detrimental to one’s diet. Oh sure, people will develop bad oral hygiene and chronic health diseases, but sugar consumption does not endanger other’s lives like alcohol does. When one thinks about it there are countless foods and drinks that contain sugar through the forms of glucose, maltose, lactose, fructose and etc. If children were banned from consuming sugary drinks, than that lowers their freedom of choice to water, tea and coffee. We do not want that. Although they are children, they are still American citizens. We do not need someone telling us what do eat, drink, wear or do. Sugar is not safe and should be consumed in moderation. It is up to adults to educate their children on the hazards of sugar, like they do with other things such as alcohol or tobacco. In sum, I do not agree with the scientist’s idea to regulate sugar. Not only will that cost more federal money to limit the easy use of sugar in foods and drinks but that is also limiting our freedoms. It is my hope that the children of tomorrow will understand good nutrition. A daily meal does not have to include just saturated fat and high sugary substances. We have the will and right to choose the healthy alternatives. We do not need federal regulation to help us.

Ernest Young

In the article “UCSF Scientists Declare War on Sugar in Food,” I do not entirely agree with Erin Allday. He makes some good valid points like sugar is definitely addictive but I do not think this is the ultimate cause of people’s diseases. People needs to know their limit on how much soda they should drink no matter how good soda is. I personally like drinking sodas but I rarely drink sodas because I know how bad it is for the body. I personally believe that a person has the will to prevent themselves from drinking sodas every day or eating candies every day. Honestly I think the real cause of why people have so much sugar in their bodies is mostly due to fast food chains. It is so ironic how New York wants to ban soda but all of a sudden McDonalds would suddenly put all their drinks for only a dollar. It is no wonder why people get so unhealthy because having the ability to get unlimited sodas for only a dollar is just simply a steal. A person can just eat at McDonald all day and keep refilling the drinks until they have something to do. The way I see it is that fast food chains are why people in America are having all these health issues and not simply sugar by itself but the way that fast food chains are giving people these kinds of deals. I agree with Matthew Jenson that people always have the option to eat fruits and vegetables but they decide to dine in at fast food restaurants. We cannot blame everything on sugar because it is our responsibility to keep our bodies in shape. People always have the option to go out and exercise but they rather sit on the couch watching television. Fast food chains are a big cause to why people are so unhealthy but it is also our responsibility for keeping our bodies healthy.

 Chelsea Smith

I have to disagree with the terms of which the UCSF plans to cut back on the levels of sugar that people consume by putting restrictions on it and treating it like an addictive substance such as alcohol or tobacco. Yes, it is true that sugar has become a large part of the American diet and can be found in many of the foods we eat, but the methods by which the UCSF plans to regulate it is far to controlling and harsh. They are taking the issue to the extreme. There is a difference between controlling and regulating levels of sugar. According to Dr. Robert a pediatric endocrinologist of the UCSF they want to use the method of public policy to gently guide people to healthier diets in one statement, yet in another statement they say there also needs to be the use of brute force to remove sugar.
I do not believe that such extreme measures of control are necessary to aid in the changing of how much sugar we consume. Nothing positive can come out of targeting everyone in the attack against sugar by regulating it with taxes, and laws for where and to whom it can be advertised. As well as putting an age limit on who can purchase it. In a sense this can only create more problems. For one you can make certain people feel targeted such as those who are over weight. Sugar may be the root of some health problems but there are other steps that can be taken to regulating it. Treating it like a dangerous and addictive substance is not a solution.
Moreover, diabetes and heart disease have been on the rise but it can not all be pinned on one substance. There are many other factors that can contribute to these health problems such as greasy fast food. Fast food restaurants are just as “addicting” as the sugary filled foods we eat. Getting people to kick the habit of consuming these foods will take more then educating the public and spreading awareness campaigns, but taking extreme measures of banning sugar will not do the trick. A better solution would be to go to the actual source of the problem the food industries and regulate the types and amount of sugar that go into our food. I do agree that some form of intervention is necessary; however, taking it to a government level of using force and extensive control is taking the issue at hand overboard.

Daisy Mercedes

Accordingly to the UCSF scientist like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is a toxic, addictive substance that should be highly regulated with taxes. I disagree we never can compare sugar with tabacco and alcohol because with can control the consumption of sugar in our foods. I do agree that eating foods high in sugar can be fatal to health. In my opinion I think that there are more reasons why people are suffering of chronic diseases as fast foods and other foods high in salt also contribute to health diseases I totally disagree that sugar is the primary fact of health problems in people. Also before considering banning the sale of sugary beverages to children it is important to note that it is the parents’ responsibility to be concern of the amount of sugar their child has in their diet.

Nancy Sakurai

Labeling sugar as an addictive substance in retrospect with alcohol and tobacco in this article, “UCSF scientists declare war on sugar in food”, is insensible. Focus is increasingly being placed on sugar as being the responsible party for health issues that range from obesity to heart attacks. I agree with the usage that sugar usage is undisciplined. Realistically, health issues are at an epidemic level throughout the world. The American Heart Association has stated that the high intake of sugar is connected to poor health conditions that lead to or include obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. These risk factors lead to heart disease and strokes. Extra sugar is found in all types of processed foods that we, as consumers, tend not to pay attention to labels and /or eat despite the warnings. Breads, candy, cereal, cookies, muffins, sodas, soups, crackers, ice cream, dairy products and even salad dressings are filled with extra sugar substances. Excessive sugar can alter a personality. Ask any mother. Children given sugars do bounce off walls… in theory, of course. As consumers, we should be more aware and attentive what the labels spell out. Healthier choice selection or decrease the intake of high sugar content and moderation in the use of sugars is fundamental. But these choices can be expensive and must be more prices available to the consumer. During this economic crunch of unemployment and poverty in America, the cost of product is important and choice may or may not be associated with health. Regulation of sugar in our school systems, I believe, is essential for our children’s ability to learn that replacing a soda filled with sugar with a healthier alternative such as low fat milk or water is not only healthy, but will become a necessary life choice. The American calorie intake has increased 17% according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. But sugar is not the only reason for obesity in the United States. The Nestles Company has stated that sodas and desserts are the main source of calories in American diets. Sugar sweetened beverages and foods produce weight gain as we spoon these into our mouths. Moderation of sugar is essential, but difficult. The gigantic portions of our meals served in restaurants and at home tend to increase weight over the years. Thus, smaller portions need to become the norm to avoid overeating, creating health issues in the future. Sugar is not as addictive a heroin or other narcotics. Sugar is pleasurable stimulus and could be considered addictive; but personally, do not believe sugar is addictive. In conclusion, intervention in public schools is a must to provide healthier substitutes from sugary items for our children. This should begin on the home front. A Healthier alternative of natural foods is essential to control obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other medical issues that our society faces as a whole. A conscious effort to refrain from excessive sugars is important to our society of today. We are a fat nation.

Henry Hong

I believe that the article makes some strong points regarding the affects our society will endure if sugar is regulated. However, I believe that these assumed results cannot be justified through words or theories. They would have to be done and proven in order to justify that the regulation of sugar will truly fix our concerns. That being said, I would have to agree with what Erin Allday is trying to express. As much as I believe in one’s freedom and personal responsibility the government regulating sugar is the healthiest way to go. Personally I do not have an issue with consuming too much sugar because I am a fairly healthy person but if I were to be looking at this situation from a world-wide point of view I would have to say this is the healthiest option for everyone. The government has had the opportunity to educate the public about the consequences of high consumption, yet, we still have issues of obesity and other health concerns. The results have spoken and the results show that the way we are handling food consumption is just not effective. I believe the next measure would be to have some sort of regulation to assist consumers with their eating habits. This could be from altering ingredients in foods and drink or even change prices on healthy food so it is more affordable. If the choices of foods were to be changed in grocery stores, then the consumers would have no choice but to comply with what is provided for us. This is especially if the new choices were much healthier for us. I say if it is healthier for society then we should go for it. This change could make a drastic impact on those in the future and could easily be an adaptable lifestyle. Although, I do not think sugar can be compared to other harmful bodily substances such as alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and other drugs, I do believe that the regulation of it can change our society’s health.

Jessica Anne

I would be lying if I said I was not glad to see the headline of this article stating the lack of exercise and a nutritious diet leads to obesity. How many times have we heard that one? This caught my attention because it discussed our need for sugar. Yes, I understand that obesity is caused by factors such as a poor diet and lack of exercise, but there must be more to it, right? I feel like I would have to agree with this article’s author, Erin Allday, in that there needs to be a, “public policy that gently guides people toward healthier choices and uses brute force to remove sugar from so many of our processed foods we eat everyday...” Yes, the arguments that we are a nation of “freedom” and that we should be allowed to consume however amounts of sugar as we please and that it is the lack of control on the individuals part, but I feel that these are just passive ways of looking at the issues regarding the rise in chronic diseases. We are a fast-food nation and live off convenience. Not everyone can afford to live the “healthy lifestyle” that so many people promote because if you are living off a minimum-wage job with children to support and only have a short amount of time to provide food on the table before your next shift at work what will you do? Most people would go for the convenience factor, they would pick up some fast food to feed themselves and their children and go to work. This issue has become more than the simple dieting and exercising, it involves our policies and the fast-food industry. We need regulation, not because of being “obese”, but because, “not everyone gains a lot of weight from over-indulging in sugar, but a large proportion of the U.S. population is eating enough of it that it’s having devastating effects.” We focus too much on “obesity”, this article briefly talks about that because its main focus was not obesity, but the dangerously high consumption of sugar that has effected or nation causing chronic diseases. Sometimes we need to take a step back and see the outlying issues.

Teresa Tran

After reading, “UCSF Scientists Declare War on Sugar in Food,” by Erin Allday I agree with his views that sugar is to blame for the rising rates of obesity, chronic diseases, and cavities. Sugar finds a way to sneak into foods in various amounts, and it is very hard to select foods that do not have high sugar content in it. I support Allday’s advice of limiting sugar consumption, and everyone should be on the lookout for hidden sugar intake. Although sugar is harmful but overconsumption of sugar can lead to other health deteriorating factors, such as diabetes and cavities. Everyone have a choice to limit their amount of sugar intake, just as they have a choice to live a healthier life. Although limiting sugar does not mean that it will completely get rid of diabetes, chronic diseases, or cavities, but it does promote a healthy living style. Limiting sugar intake can promote healthy living styles for people of all ages, kids do not have to worry about their teeth being filled for cavities, and parents do not have to worry about the dental bill. Although it is hard to avoid sugar completely, many people can try to limit their amount of sugar intake by stop going to fast food, and stop drinking beverages with high glucose content. Also, cooking at home should be encouraged because when one cooks at home, he or she can limit and monitor the amount of sugar in food. Since in his article, Allday cited that all Americans consume about twenty-two teaspoon of sugar daily because they are not paying attention to their food. But this can be changed easily if everyone starts making healthier eating choices and habits, most people will be able to avoid health issues caused by overconsumption of sugar. After all, everyone has a choice to living a healthier life. I believe that Allday is right, therefore everyone should pay attention to what they eat and the content of sugar lurking in their food.

free Microsoft Points Generator

Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It actually used to be a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how can we keep in touch?

TahishaJo

I understand that sugar should not be used so much but everything we eat has sugar in it, even veggies and fruits. In the article it states, that the gov't should be involved and I believe that First lady Obama is doing us by getting the children active and having a day of playing with friends. People should watch what they eat because they care for themselves
, if fatty foods are selling then fatty food will keep being sold. Markets know that some things are bad for you but if the customer keeps buying these bad items then the businesses are making money . Since customers buy sugar on a daily it may be hard to get rid of.

C H  question 1

I believe the opening question, comment is harsh . After reading the rest of the article my
opinion did not change. Although the consumers do need regulation on tobacco and alcohol, which I do
agree with, sugar is a product I don’t think we need to invest time and money into regulating. They
cannot blame the companys putting sugar in their product for obesity, health issues or whatever. People
need to take responsibility for what they eat or feed their children. Now adays food products are clearly
marked with what they contain. If you don’t like it don’t eat it

katemc

Question 2

Allday's article leaned, very much, to the anti sugar side of the topic. Her sources seemed to be all of a similar opinion, except for a few stray quotes. The lack of opposing views, and only a few facts seemed kept her article on one side of the aisle. I believe the report was supposed to be informative to the dangers of over consumption of sugar. However it came across, to me, as almost an op-ed of sorts.

Gage Arbogast

Question 2

Allday does a superb job in reporting the information that she has researched. Throughout the entire article, she strives to only list facts. Any statements that could be interpreted as an opinion, she makes sure to state is a direct quote from a person or group aside from herself. Allday consistently uses phrases such as "they say" or "X states" to clarify what others are saying, and what she is reporting. This is the correct method of writing a factual article, with very little room for personal opinions.

rami jabak

question 4
I agree with Lustig that people are still going to buy overtaxed foods and drinks which contain high doses of sugar simply because sugar is another form of energy that we cant live without. What if you have to wake up early and need to get out to your job with full esteem? It makes sense that people buy coffee from Dunkin Donuts or other morning cafes no matter the cost, because, as they say, America runs on Dunkin! Us humans will pay for things we need especially in our daily life, like gas, tobacco, milk, and other necessities. As what the American Beverage Association implied. "There is no evidence that focusing solely on reducing sugar intake would have any meaningful public health impact."

rami jabak

simon elchami

I believe Allday did an extremely good job at keeping this article at a neutral point of view. Allday would say one thing good of bad and then counter it was the opposite. Like for example when Allday says "Like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is a toxic", thuis thought was quickly countered by "Comparing sugar to alcohol and tobacco is "simply without scientific merit,". I strongly believe that Allday did a greatjob at keeping this article neutral.

Courtney Cottle

Question 5
I agree completely with Allday’s opening sentence! As many people know, tobacco companies once completely denied that nicotine and cigarettes were in any way possible harmful and/or addictive (much like many food companies do today!). There were multiple commercials advertising their products, which is now illegal. In result of the laws created on tobacco, there are thousands less smokers today! Yes, people will still buy overtaxed foods and drinks - However, maybe it will teach us to only purchase what we need to. I continue to stand behind this article when I see the facts and studies conducted. There are very little of us who can imagine a drug as addictive and serious as cocaine or heroin being placed in our foods - and although sugar has been proven to be just as addictive - we still blame the eater. Though many might say the government should not interfere with our diet, I say the interference needs to happen for the health of our children and future generations.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

By signing up you agree to W. W. Norton’s
privacy policy and terms of use.

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new posts and more! @NortonWrite

Become a Fan