Sugar-Coated Science: The Sugar Industry's Strategy to Encourage Your Sweet Tooth

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Sugar is killing you. Or at least it is making you a lot less healthy. America's love affair with sugar has been linked to increases in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. It has been said to cause other ailments too, from acne to mental illnesses like depression and schizophrenia. Sugar consumption can even hinder your ability to learn and remember information.

And yet, Americans continue to consume far more than we should -- and maybe more than we realize. The sweet stuff -- which goes by many names, including high fructose corn syrup, dextran, maltose, mannitol, and sorbitol, just to name a few -- finds its way into our food even where we least expect it. That BBQ sauce you slather on grilled chicken? Sugar. Your favorite "whole grains" breakfast cereal? Sugar. Salad dressing? Protein bars? Almond milk? Even your "all natural" bottled green juice drink? You guessed it.

Studies show that sugar is also highly addictive, but still, there are no federal guidelines to limit consumption (though the government already offers such guidelines for fat and salt). A new report from the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) may explain why. According to the report, the companies behind the foods that fuel our sugar addictions have spent billions of dollars deceiving the public with fake science, misinformation, and elaborate PR campaigns. They have also lobbied both the government and international organizations to turn a blind eye.

You can read my post on the report, which outlines some of the sugar industry tactics and includes researchers recommendations here, on Mother Jones.