A decade ago, a nearly 90 min long YouTube video by a California endocrinologist changed the way millions of people view the role of sugar in their diets. Its unlikely star, Robert Lustig, used his time in “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” to outline evidence for his contention that overconsumption of added sugars leads to chronic metabolic diseases.
The idea that, beyond their ability to inflate the calories of food, added sugars are uniquely bad for us is still controversial, but the circumstantial evidence is strong. Research shows that the consumption of added sugars is associated with the development of metabolic syndrome, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Public health groups have taken up the cause and pushed for laws and rules they believe will reduce the ready availability of food high in added sugars. Sugar-sweetened sodas were first in the crosshairs. Fourteen countries around the world now tax the drinks.
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