Sugar is bad, mmkay?

There have been movements afoot to get people to reduce the level of sugar in their diets for years. Many have put forth compelling arguments about the harmful effects of the ubiquitous white, sparkly stuff. Even breakfast-cereal producers are getting the message. This week, the Kellogg company announced that it would only advertise cereals on TV that met certain nutritional requirements.

But just in case you’ve missed the news about sugar before, CBS News has gone in-depth to find out the real dirt on the fruit of the cane. “Is America Too Sweet on Sugar?” features some stunning displays of obviousness:

Dr. David Ludwig treats childhood obesity at Boston Children’s Hospital and he is stunned by America’s consumption of empty calories. In fact, he says that the average convenience store is a nutritional disaster area.


Naturally, the sugar industry disagrees with the idea that sugar is a nutritionally bereft food that contributes nothing more than sweet, sweet taste and lots of extra poundage to the national waistline.

[S]pokesperson Melanie Miller of the American Sugar Association points out there is no scientific consensus on how much sugar is too much. Besides, she says, overeating and not exercising is America’s real problem, not sugar, which can be an essential ingredient.

Is it just me, or does this sound like a parody of Christopher Buckley’s novel Thank You for Smoking?

There are some nuggets of wisdom to be gleaned here. For instance, the piece reports that the Agriculture Department has recommended that people get no more than 12 teaspoons of sugar a day. Which sounds like a lot, until you see that 12 teaspoons is equal to a soda and a slice of white bread. Slap some jam on a slice of white toast and serve it with a refreshing morning Coke, and you’ve exceeded your sugar quota by the end of breakfast.

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