Should sugar be regulated like a drug? | The Tylt

Should sugar be regulated like a drug?

According to some experts, sugar might be as addictive as cocaine. While daydreams of soda or late-night dessert might get us through the day, some say the danger of America's dependence on sugary foods is too big of a risk. This camp believes it's high time to regulate sugar, if not ban it outright. Others are of the mind that everyone has the right to put what they want into their bodies, and if that includes sugar, so be it. What do you think?

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There's a reason people tend to reward themselves with sugar; when you eat it, dopamine is released in the brain, making you feel good. Although this sounds logical for birthday cakes and special occasions, sugar's infiltration into the average American's diet makes it all the more dangerous. Healthline points out:

“Research shows that sugar can be even more addicting than cocaine,” says Cassie Bjork, R.D., L.D., founder of Healthy Simple Life. “Sugar activates the opiate receptors in our brain and affects the reward center, which leads to compulsive behavior, despite the negative consequences like weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, and more.”

With addiction comes the full package: cravings, binging, withdrawal, and more. The World Health Organization recommends limiting "free sugar," or added sugar, to less than 5 percent of your daily calories, yet for Americans, added sugar accounts for 14 percent of the average daily caloric intake.

Without a huge shift in habits, Americans could be facing a chronic health crisis. Regulation would help curb this collective addiction.

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Everyone has the right to make their own dietary decisions. Ingredients (including added sugars) are readily available on food packaging, and calorie counts are displayed on menus at chain restaurants. There is plenty of information out there for everyone to make informed decisions about their diet, including tips on how to cut down on sugar intake specifically.

There's no question that sugar should be consumed in moderation, but government-mandated regulation is not the answer. What's next, regulating caffeine

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According to the BBC, it's time to start treating sugar in the same way some countries treat cigarettes: by wrapping sugary treats in plain packaging. Given the obesity epidemic in the U.S., no-frills packaging could be a first step in the right direction. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine:

Obesity is a complex problem with multiple causes. But among the likely suspects, sugar is high on the list. As sugar consumption has increased, so too has our national waistline.

According to blogger, nutritionist, and self-proclaimed former fast-food junkie, Megan Gilmore, sugar should be regulated just like other addictive substances. Gilmore suggests starting with sugary sodas. She writes on her blog, Detoxinista:

I realize that government regulation is a tricky subject, as it could start a domino effect of other regulations, but what I like about this particular idea is that it is NOT proposing a ban on sodas, or even on refined sugar, for that matter. It’s only making us reevaluate our concept of portion-control when it comes to this addictive substance. 
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Beyond violating the basic freedom to choose your own diet, regulating sugar just sounds like the government and/or health organizations have turned into your parents telling you not to drink soda before bed. Sugar is fun. Where would we be without pies on Thanksgiving or sweet lattes in the morning?

Sometimes, you just need that extra boost. Whether or not you overdo it is up to you.

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should sugar be regulated like a drug?
A festive crown for the winner
#KeepSugar
#RegulateSugar