Sugar is addictive, potentially harmful, and absolutely everywhere, but is sugar really a poison that should be kept out of vulnerable hands?
Recently an American doctor called Robert Lustig has been calling for laws that restrict sugar as if it were alcohol or tobacco. Like many people, I suspect, my initial reaction upon hearing this was: give me a break. Lustig, who thinks sugar is a dangerous poison, has considered several strategies. For instance, we could double the price of fizzy drinks, so children can’t afford them. We could get sweet shops to close in the afternoons, when children are going home from school. We could restrict the advertising of foods with added sugar.
We could even set an age limit for fizzy drinks, possibly 17, so younger kids can’t buy cans of Coke.
Dear me. Whatever next? It’s easy to understand the reasons for controlling tobacco and alcohol — these things are toxic and costly for everyone. If you smoke or get drunk, I end up paying your hospital bills; if you don’t smoke or drink, I pay less tax. So of course alcohol and tobacco should be restricted. Tobacco causes an array of diseases; alcohol can destroy your liver, and it also makes people shout and fight and vomit in the street. Both are addictive. Read more