Viewpoint: It’s time to take a harder look at sugar’s connection to the diabetes epidemic

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Discussions about the global epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes tend to assume that these are new phenomena…In the United States, however, the origins of the diabetes epidemic may be found in hospital records from the 19th century.

The candy, chocolate, and ice cream industries had all been founded in the 1840s; the soft drink industry was launched most prominently by Coca Cola and Pepsi in the 1880s.

The idea that sugar could be a fundamental cause of diabetes, not just a source of empty calories, fell out of fashion over the years, but given the present dire situation the idea should be considered seriously again.

In the midst of such a huge public health crisis, and with the acknowledgment that failure is inevitable, the obvious question to ask is why. Why, despite all our best efforts, have these epidemics gone unchecked?

Ultimately, science is not about proving what is true or what is not, as the Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman has said, but what is more or less likely. The hypothesis that sugar consumption causes diabetes through a mechanism other than its contribution to calorific overload could be true. Whether it is likely or not is still a judgment call. If it is true, though, it changes how we must communicate the dangers of sugar consumption.

Read full, original post: What if sugar is worse than just empty calories? An essay by Gary Taubes (behind paywall)

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