Monday Madness: Carding kids for soda just like it was alcohol??

April 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

When I got up this morning, I noticed that the #1 trending topic on Yahoo was “Is Sugar Toxic?”

I mean usually the top trending topic is JLo and whether she wore the same dress twice or the current status of Justin Bieber’s hair—so this was different!

Evidently the surge in interest is due to a 60 Minutes segment that is airing Sunday, April 1.  In this report, Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks with Dr. Robert Lustic, a pediatric endocrinologist, who discusses his opinions on sugar which he believes is killing us.

Yes–killing us.  That’s strong words, right?

In fact he believes sugar is an addictive substance that should be regulated as if it was nicotine, alchohol or even illegal drugs.

If you’re interested in how Dr.Lustic feels about sugar you might want to view his video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” on youtube which you can find here.

I’ll warn you in advance that it’s really long.  Over an hour and 29 minutes.

But here’s an interesting fact from that video: Coke used to be sold in 10 ounces and is now sold in 20 oz.

 And in some cases (like out here in Texas) you may find a Texas sized Big Gulp equal to 60 ounces where you can also add in a bag of doritos and a snickers bar for 99 cents.

And if you did that every day it would equal out to an extra 126 pounds per year.

I used to call this combination a “snack”.


of course, there are people who disagree that sugar is addictive, habit forming and toxic.

Like the National Soft Drink Assocation.

They have a scientist on staff who said that “there is no association between sugar consumption and obesity”.

Which kind of makes me wonder why the National Soft Drink Association even bothered to say anything at all.

I mean silence is sometimes the best option, right?

Dr.Lustig says that we were not exposed to high fructose corn syrup before 1975 but currently are consuming 63 pounds per person per year.

He says that fructose confuses the brain’s leptin signals which makes you think you are hungry and need to eat more creating an addiction that makes people driven to consume more and more.

He thinks fructose should be regulated like any other addictive substance and actually proposes that we should start carding kids for soda.

He said if parents want their children to have soda, they will have to buy it themselves because it should require an ID just like alcohol or cigarettes.

Pretty intense, right?

I’m not sure if sugar should be regulated in that way or if it is addictive for everyone but I do know this–it IS addictive for me.

No doubt about it.

I know a lot of people, though, who don’t have any issues with it.  They can drink a Coke and not feel the need to go back and buy a case.   Just like some people can drink a beer without needing to go buy a case.

Why do some people become addicted to alcohol while others have no issue drinking in moderation?

Why do some people become addicted to sugar while others have no issue eating it in moderation?

I’m not really sure of the answers.  I just know ME.

And I am a sugar addict

Discovering this was a huge event for me.  It made me realize why I had failed on virtually every single diet I ever went on.

Because they allowed sugar.

Years ago, I went on the Atkins diet which required me to regulate my sugar intake.  I could not eat anything with more than 4 grams of sugar in it.

And when I did this I finally realized just how much it had affected me.

And when I let my guard down and ate ONE donut with tons of sugar I immediately and completely found myself knee deep in the sugar again.  Just like an addict who had backslidden back into their drug addiction.

It only took one bite.

And before I knew it, I had gained back all 104 pounds.

And another hundred or so in the years that would follow.

So for me sugar is dangerous.

This is why I don’t eat yogurt even though it’s widely used in most diets.  Unfortunately it is usually packed with sugar.

For me, this would be like lacing my diet food with heroin.

And now that I know this, I stay away from it.

Only when I began regulating my own sugar consumption did I find myself having a sense of peace and a huge decrease in my desire to overeat.

But I’m well aware that others don’t have this reaction to sugar.

So what about the rest of you?

Should sugar be shelved in the same aisle as alcohol?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

mommykinz April 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I've often thought that I was a sugar addict – especially when I was hiding in the pantry eating frosting straight from the can! They don't put alcohol right at the check out to tempt you, I wish they didn't put candy and chocolate bars there either.
I'm right there with you Holly, if I eat one, I'll end up eating them all!!!! crumbs and all. Crap, all this sugar talk and now i'm really craving a coke – I haven't had one of those in years. Yikes.


Michelle April 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I have to laugh at the trending part 😉 As a manager at Yahoo! it often cracks us up what shows up. You are right tho .. usually something crazy celebrity related 🙂
Im such a sugar addict. SO hard because I am wanting to get off the fake sugars because of all the chemicals, they are worse than the sugar. I am trying to do moderation with the real stuff. 🙁 So hard!


Nanette April 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I certainly treat corn syrup like the plague. I've read the stuff about how it sends false signals to your body deferring the full feeling. Which I can totally attest to, when I was pre- change in diet and exercise I could drink 4 glasses of soda with a full meal and then be ready for dessert. If I only drank water, I usually wound up being able to take home leftovers. It's crazy.

If I eat sugar or something with sugar in it… I try to get things with raw sugar or honey. And I'm very cautious to not consume much of it.

It's usually the combination of wheat and sugar that sends me sailing off into stuff my face land. Brownies, breads (yup, corn syrup and sugar in those too), cakes, cookies, etc. But things like dark chocolate, I can eat a square and walk away.

As far as getting ID'd for sugary things… I think it's crap. It would be easier to ban corn syrup as a substance/ingredient. Or place warnings on packages like cigarettes or beer. At what age would people need to be to buy it? That's another thing that I think would be difficult to regulate. I've eaten more sugar in the last 10 years than I have in the prior 15.


If Only She Were Thinner April 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Rather than regulate sugar, I think we need to educate ourselves and our children on the dangers of addiction…ALL addiction. Coming from a family of alcoholics, I learned about substance abuse at an early age. What I did not learn about was food addiction. I am a carb addict and didn't realize how severe it was until I had weight loss surgery. Learning how to read a food label and where the nutritional content fits into my own diet was huge and something worth passing on. – Dawn


Steelers6 April 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Nope, sugar doesn't need to be in the alcohol aisle. Nor does it need to be regulated or need an ID to purchase. Clearly a sugar addiction doesn't impose potential danger to other people (other than the purchaser/consumer) like dangerous driving that alcohol or drugs might.

This is America, people should be able to purchase it if they wish, but there is some wisdom in educating, for sure.

I've made my own choice to cut way back, including no longer drinking the American beverage of choice, soda pop.



Crack You Whip April 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I believe that it is addicting. I didn't get diabetes until I started drinking 6 sodas a day. Within a year, I was diagnosed with type II diabetes.

I don't think the ID thing would work. That would just cause a whole other set of issues with children sneaking what they want.


Czesia April 1, 2012 at 7:44 pm

What I find so sad is that sugar is in SO many things, labeled differently but still sugar! Even in things we would normal not think sugar is supposed to be in. It's insane to think about, but so important. I think sugar AND artificial sweeteners should be regulated but wish it could be to everyone and not just kids. I think I'm a communist sometimes LOL…


Banded With Favor April 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Addictive??? Oh Yes!!! So addictive…I too am a sugar addict and even though I know this, I also know I have not figured out how to stop myself. I know one bite will turn into 4 cookies or one nibble of cake turns into 2 pieces. I know one spoonful of frosting turns into half the tub…I don't know how to keep myself from wanting the taste, nibble or spoonful, and when I do test my will power and fail I don't know how to stop!!! I am soooooooo a sugar addict!!! Working on getting a handle on it though…always working!!!

Should it be regulated??? NO!!! The gov. Regulates too much as it is, give an inch they take a mile and then everything is a law, a proposition, a choice made for us…yes sugar is harmful to the consumer, but regulation of sugar is in my opinion another excuse to raise taxes or prices or get more money out of us in some way shape or form.


Overhauling-Me April 1, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I too am a sugar addict! If I cave I spiral downward. It takes A LOT of willpower to stop that spiraling. I do wish it wasn't right there in our faces at the grocery store. Eating healthier now I do so good staying on the perimeter of the grocery store for all the fresher food only to be hit with the sugary stuff as I wait in line at the checkout.

No, it should not be regulated! I agree with Banded with Favor. The government regulates TOO MUCH already!

Sugar is in everything. I heard the other day that most people gravitate towards Fat Free yogurt rather than lite thinking they are making the better choice when really the Fat Free has tons more sugar.

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!


Caron April 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm

They can't possibly regulate everything but if they want to do that, they should probably start with the food industry who lists sugar under six different names on one label so you do not know how much you are consuming. I grew up in the 1950's and 1960's. When I was little, the only size Coke available was a tiny 6 1/2 ounce bottle. We were allowed to have one on Saturday night when we watched Bonanza on television. Amazing, isn't it? Of course, I still remember 3 cent stamps and penny postcards. 🙂


Frickin' Fabulous at 40 April 2, 2012 at 2:38 am

The problem with any type of food addiction is you can't avoid food! We need to eat to live. Our society's problem is we live to eat!


MandaPanda April 2, 2012 at 6:15 am

I firmly believe sugar is toxic. But it tastes so good! LOL


Anonymous April 2, 2012 at 6:41 am

I believe sugar is an addictive substance. I do believe that active sugar addicts can die as a result of eating too much. I went into inpatient treatment to get off sugar, caffeine, and gluten. Best thing I ever did.


Lissa April 2, 2012 at 8:46 am

i've learned post WLS that i can have a little sugar but it is a slippery slope…i eat a little i eat alot i get sick…ugh. so no i shouldn't eat it and honestly if it wasn't addictive i wouldn't have a problem with it right?!?! i think that parents and individuals should regulate the consumption but not the govt…not just yet.


Brenda April 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

Sugar is my crack. Seriously, if I would drink a Coke it would lead to more and more. I try to avoid it. Like the plague. It is my red light food.


terbear287 April 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

I know I started my down hill slide with my weight in Jr. High with all the vending machines. It was easy to take a dollar a day get chips and drink. Not good. I hope I am teaching my daughter to make better choices. Right now her school doesn't provide any vending machine options. I truly think that is a good thing. I know schools get a percentage of the profit but there has to be another way.

A local grocery store chain here in Utah just opened recently and they have check out stands with only healthy options. They have fruit and water and trail mix stuff. What a wonderful idea, gives you the option of choosing a check stand without the "temptations"!!


Carrie - April 2, 2012 at 11:05 am

Wow, I've never thought of it this way and I'm not so sure I don't agree with you.

I don't drink soft drinks and haven't in about 10 years…only because I choose to. If I drink one now, it feels like acid rolling down my throat…and it's amazing how quick you can lose the taste for something like that.

Especially when I used to drink NO LESS than 8 Dr. Peppers a day for years.

This was really good…lots to consider and think about.


Jane April 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I think it's like being an alcoholic or not. We are all different and different things trigger different behaviors for us. I, for one, am very glad that my parents almost never gave us soda. When I was small, I remember them opening one can and sharing it will all of us. It was a special treat, not a casual beverage. However, while I almost never drink soda as an adult, my sister is a total Dr. Pepper addict. So I don't know if their behavior rubbed off on us or we just thought they were cheap skates. I think it's like you said, not every one can drink a soda (or a beer) and not go back for a case. Should it be regulated like alcohol….NO. I think we should just all use good judgement. And good for you Holly, you realize you have an issue with sugar, so you use that knowledge to make your life better. We can all do that. It's a choice we all have to make.


Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan April 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I am the same as you! Definitely a sugar addict.

My kids do not get pop or juice. Once in a while at a community event our youngest will have a juice box, but our oldest doesn't even like them. My husband and I have been pop free since September and we are so much better off for it.

I am so thankful that we live so far removed from fast food and corner stores where junk like that is sold. Most everything we eat is homemade so I know exactly what they are eating.


Laryssa April 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I can eat something with sugar and I'm fine, as long as it's just one serving and there aren't any more servings in the home. If there are, then I can easily go crazy. I go through the same thing with carbs, especially crackers. I can have them at home but if I dip in to have even just a handful, a handful can easily become a boxful.


LuckyEight16 April 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I can kind of understand where he is coming from. I don't think that sugar is addictive in the sense where if I don't have any I'm craving it. However, he was right on the money when he said that when you eat some it just makes you crave more. Absolutely. That's where I struggle. If I allow myself a piece of birthday cake for example, I may try to just have one and to make it a small slice, but usually I fail. It is so much easier for me just to pass on the cake than to have a little and not have more. I think it's an interesting study and that in some cases, yes sugar probably is killing some of us. I am against soda, I do not allow my children to have it, at all. Once they get older if they want to have ONE when we go out to eat or at a party or something, that's fine. I myself have a soda when we are at a restaurant. I just don't want it to be a problem for them


trisha April 2, 2012 at 9:03 pm

pretty sure I wrote this myself!! lol And I completely agree with EVERYTHING the doc was saying, 100%.


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