Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity Summary

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When most people think about sugar, their first thoughts are not: heart disease, addiction, or slow and painful death; yet, unfortunately, these conditions are very real consequences of the unregulated and excessive consumption of sugar. In Nature’s article, “The Toxic Truth About Sugar” (2012), Robert Lustig, pediatric endocrinologist; Laura Schmidt, Professor of Health Policy at UCSF (University of California, San Francisco); and Claire Brindis, Professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy at UCSF, evaluate the world’s ever-increasing and toxic struggle with the substance sugar – also discussing counter measures to promote healthier diets amongst American’s and other societies. Lustig and his colleagues develop their argument using statistical…show more content…
They claim that these substances and sugar share the same level of unavoidability, toxicity, and potential for abuse and destructive societal impact, elaborating on each shared quality (28). The authors give a short description of how sugar is simply inevitable in nature before illustrating the negative, evolutionary impact on humans’ access to sugar. They then summarize the harmful, unspecified attributes of sugar – even suggesting that the abuse of sugar can result in Cancer and/or brain-related deterioration. Furthermore, they explain the chemical manipulation sugar enacts on the brain, linking this aspect to alcohol and tobacco and proving sugar to be a source of potential abuse and/or addiction (28). And finally, to conclude the comparative argument, Lustig and his colleagues articulate the lasting economic effects of sugar on society to prove its regulation to be necessary. Including the overall government health expenses, which is clarified by providing capital figures, the authors go as far as mentioning the US Joint Chiefs of Staff’s affirmation that obesity has become a “threat to national security”, noting that, “… about 25% of military applicants are now rejected for obesity-related reasons…” (28). With these alarming comparisons and supporting figures,…show more content…
It is clear, both in their text and in reality, that sugar extremely difficult to cut out of one’s diet – let alone the diet of an entire society and supplementary societies. However, as they continue their argument, their rhetoric seems to evaporate in elaborating on the different routes of intervention. Unavoidability is not a valid reason to implement official restrictions such as limiting availability; e.g. limiting sales during school hours or affecting an age requirement – as suggested by Lustig, Schmidt and Brindis (29). Once again, the government will be taking another simple pleasure from them due to their age, pressuring them to rebel and/or fight back. Moreover, who is to say a parent or older youth will not purchase the sugary beverages for a child? With an age restriction on purchase, more specifically, youth will be more inclined to seek out other means of obtaining the sugar drinks. Besides, unlike alcohol, consumption for persons under the age of restriction would not be

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