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February 3rd, 2014
04:01 PM ET

Sugar not only makes you fat, it may make you sick

In recent years, sugar - more so than fat - has been receiving the bulk of the blame for our deteriorating health.

Most of us know we consume more sugar than we should.  Let's be honest, it's hard not to.

The (new) bad news is that sugar does more damage to our bodies than we originally thought.  It was once considered to be just another marker for an unhealthy diet and obesity.  Now sugar is considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, as well as many other chronic diseases, according a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Sugar has adverse health effects above any purported role as ‘empty calories’ promoting obesity,” writes Laura Schmidt, a professor of health policy in the School of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, in an accompanying editorial. “Too much sugar doesn’t just make us fat; it can also make us sick.”

But how much is too much? Turns out not nearly as much as you may think.  As a few doctors and scientists have been screaming for a while now, a little bit of sugar goes a long way.

Added sugars, according to most experts, are far more harmful to our bodies than naturally-occurring sugars.  We're talking about the sugars used in processed or prepared foods like sugar-sweetened beverages, grain-based desserts, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, candy, ready-to-eat cereal and yeast breads. Your fruits and (natural) fruit juices are safe.

Recommendations for your daily allotment of added sugar vary widely:

- The Institute of Medicine recommends that added sugars make up less than 25% of your total calories
- The World Health Organization recommends less than 10%
- The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to less than 100 calories daily for women and 150 calories daily for men

The U.S. government hasn't issued a dietary limit for added sugars, like it has for calories, fats, sodium, etc.  Furthermore, sugar is classified by the Food and Drug administration as "generally safe," which allows manufacturers to add unlimited amounts to any food.

"There is a difference between setting the limit for nutrients or other substances in food and setting limits for what people should be consuming," an FDA spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to CNN. "FDA does not set limits for what people should be eating."

"With regard to setting a regulatory limit for added sugar in food, FDA would carefully consider scientific evidence in determining whether regulatory limits are needed, as it would for other substances in food."

There is some good news. While the mean percentage of calories consumed from added sugars increased from 15.7% in 1988-1994 to 16.8% in 1999-2004, it actually decreased to 14.9% between 2005 and 2010. But most adults still consumed 10% or more of their calories from added sugar and about 1 in 10 people consumed 25% or more of their calories from sugar during the same time period.

Participants in the study who consumed approximately 17 to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared with those who consumed approximately 8% of calories from added sugar, the study authors concluded.

“This relative risk was more than double for those who consumed 21% or more of calories from added sugar,” they wrote.

The Sugar Association said in a statement there "are a number of major flaws with this new study and the sensationalism associated with targeting sugar is fueling the media." The authors conclude that "an observational study like theirs is not proof of cause and effect," the association noted, and "extensive knowledge gaps exist."

"Bottom line: All-natural sugar has been consumed safely for centuries, and when consumed in moderation, has been and should continue to be part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle," the statement said.

Schmidt writes in the study that these new findings “provide physicians and consumers with actionable guidance. Until federal guidelines are forthcoming, physicians may want to caution patients that, to support cardiovascular health, it’s safest to consume less than 15% of their daily calories from added sugar.”

That’s the equivalent, Schmidt points out, of drinking one 20-ounce Mountain Dew soda in a 2,000-calorie diet.

“From there, the risk rises exponentially as a function of increased sugar intake,” she writes.

In a statement, the American Beverage Association said the study "shows that adult consumption of added sugars has actually declined, as recently reported by the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

"A significant part of that reduction is from decreased added sugars from beverages due, in part, to our member companies' ongoing innovation in providing more low- and no-calorie options. Furthermore, this is an observational study which cannot - and does not - show that cardiovascular disease is caused by drinking sugar-sweetened beverages."

Despite our changing scientific understanding and a growing body of evidence on sugar overconsumption as an independent risk factor in chronic disease, sugar regulation remains an uphill battle in the United States.  This is contrasted by the increased frequency of regulation abroad, where 15 countries now have taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages.

“‘Sin taxes,’ whether on tobacco, alcohol, or sugar-laden products, are popular because they are easy to enforce and generate revenue, with a well-documented evidence base supporting their effectiveness for lowering consumption,” writes Schmidt.

But forget about the short-term monetary cost.  Before you reach for that next sugary treat, think long and hard about the long-term cost to your health.


soundoff (513 Responses)
  1. Sivick

    Everybody's gotta die sometime.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pope Bubba

      Might as well keep shooting up then.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • Erick Holmes

      I agree with you. If you drink one can a day, and 2 or 3 occasionally, or even more occasionally, it won't kill you. And our global population will never go up because people are getting killed constantly. So, you're right, everyone's gotta die someday.

      February 4, 2014 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • Ok_I_Have_A_Question

      I have given up most foods(deserts, candy, pop/soda) except on a very rare occasion. I have tried to increase my intake of vegetables, and lately I have been trying to increase my intake of fruits. Fruits are something that should be a part of your diet so I have read, but fruits have natural sweetness. And from everything I have read, the natural sweetness of fruit is no better for you then sugar.

      So, should fruit still be part of your diet? Or is this specific to sugar?

      I know, stupid question.

      February 4, 2014 at 14:14 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Soco

      @Ok_I_Have_A_Question: They're referring to processed sugar., but natural sugar will still be processed into fat if you have too much. For example, the recommended portion of banana is 1/2 of a banana.

      February 4, 2014 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
    • ME

      I'll bet that's never been anybody's last words.

      February 4, 2014 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
    • Taro

      Yes. Fruit is good in general when consumed on its own. It has vitamins and fiber. What you want to be concerned is drinking fruit juices. Even when it's 100% organic, when juiced, it's devoid of fiber and takes a lot of fruit (4-6 oranges for example) to make one serving. Also it is too acidic for your stomach and you'd be getting lots of sugar without the fiber.

      Vegetables especially green vegetables are better options to fruits since they are more potent than fruit in antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory properties.

      Fruit is fine as long as you consume it as is, and if you have a craving for desserts like a cake or something, eating fruit like 2-3 apples would be much healthier.

      February 4, 2014 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
  2. Vnederlander

    Many comments here with bad information. All sugars are NOT the same. Fructose is metabolized very differently from the other sugars. Learn more from reputable medical sources, not alarmist headlines.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • INKT

      Actually, if you watch "Sugar: The Bitter Truth", you'll learn that they are the same. It is a 2+ hour lecture from a medical doctor about sugar. You are the misinformed one.

      February 4, 2014 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
    • Steven Cobowabo

      I've read a lot of information on this. The problem with broad general answers is that they loose the important details. Yes, there are differences in sugars. But it should also be noted that they have far more similarities than differences. Take honey versus white sugar. It honey better for a person. Technically yes, but the nutritional value difference is very small, a lot smaller than the effects of the base of a sweet/sugar substance that they both share. Limit sugars of all can as best you can. Then again, live a little, just don't make it a habit.

      February 4, 2014 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
    • LABorn

      Agree, all sugars are not the same. And the person who claims they are is the uninformed one. Doctors don't know about nutrition.

      February 4, 2014 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • inktwouldbuythebrooklynbridgefrommygrandma

      inkt, you are wrong.

      February 4, 2014 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • INKT

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM&w=640&h=360]

      February 4, 2014 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • lilyq

      Well, which "reputable medical resource" are you going to believe. I read often that sugar is sugar, makes no difference which kind because the body can't differentiate.

      February 4, 2014 at 14:13 | Report abuse |
    • Kuta

      How exactly is fructose different than glucose in term of how it's metabolized and effect on the body? Simple sugars like these are easily absorbed and cause the insulin and glucose levels to spike. Why do you think diabetics drink orange or apple juice when they're hypoglycemic? It's only when sugars are bound up in complex structures that they're released slowly. Lots of fake so-called biologists here who don't understand the basics of sugar metabolism.

      February 4, 2014 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
    • chickpeasandlove

      Considering that traditional MDs have absolutely ZERO training in nutrition I don't take a 2+ hour lecture on sugar from a medical doctor to mean much of anything really. Yes molecularly speaking, sugar is sugar (more specifically fructose is fructose, and glucose is glucose, etc). BUT how that sugar is packaged into foods makes a huge difference in how it processed by the body (i.e. fruit vs. a glass of soda).

      February 4, 2014 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
    • INKT

      My bad; He's an endocrinologist and the lecture is only an hour and a half...

      February 4, 2014 at 16:10 | Report abuse |
    • Third eagle of the apocalypse

      @INKT

      Sorry buddy but you're a victim of propaganda.

      February 4, 2014 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
    • INKT

      It's all propaganda. I prefer to believe that whole foods are the only way to go. Enjoy your own version of the koolaid. Or soda, as it may be. And good luck to you.

      February 4, 2014 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
  3. Kurt Steiner

    Why don't the soft drink companies save some money and cut the sugar by about half? Drinks like Pepsi and Coke are so much sweeter than they need to be, it's disgusting. I dilute mine when I can, and it's much more refreshing.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anon

      I was told once that if I quit soda pop for six months, then tried to go back, the sweetness would be nauseating and I would be broke of the habit. I tried it, but it didn't work. The soda tasted sweeter then before, but it also tasted even more wonderful. I think if the sugar amount were cut in half, I would probably quit drinking it altogether since it wouldn't be sweet enough. Also, if they taxed the he11 out of it, which they should, I would also quit buying. After all, I'm not going to waste that kind of money over just junk. Thankfully, now, I barely touch it.

      We consume WAY to much sugar. I'm surprised the whole nation isn't either dead or on insulin pumps by now. Folks don't seem to think of soda as candy but that's exactly all it is. Folks also don't stop to consider that when they consume a 16ounce can of soda, they just guzzled down an entire pound of candy!! You add that with a meal of burgers and fries on a regular basis, and it's surprising many of us can even walk.

      February 4, 2014 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
    • NYreader

      Because if the remove the sugar, you won't be addicted to it.

      February 4, 2014 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
    • Squirrelyone

      I never actively tried to give up soda, but while I was in college I just didn't drink any for several months. All sorts of reasons. Just didn't have any. Then my family came to town, we went out to lunch together, I had three or four glasses of Pepsi, and it was like I was drunk. Out of nowhere, I was dizzy, loopy, nauseous – it was brutal. My tolerance was definitely in the dumps. That was many years ago, but I still find that if I want a soda, one goes a very long way, and more than one and I get physically ill and mentally straight-up-wacky.

      February 4, 2014 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
  4. JLXvsElvis

    New report shows too much of everything and not enough of anything will cause death between the ages of 1 and 99.

    February 4, 2014 at 13:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lilyq

      lol ain't it the truth

      February 4, 2014 at 14:14 | Report abuse |
  5. Mary Carter

    Guess what? Something is going to kill you and that is a fact. America is being made so miserable and scared to death of eating, drinking or living that who in the name of common sense would want to keep living this life in this country anyway? The "experts" are determined to make life as miserable as possible and most of them are talking through their hat. I am 75 and I eat what I want in moderation. When we let the government dictate what to eat, drink and do with our lives we might as well be dead.

    February 4, 2014 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SnakePlissken

      I just about died last year – age 51, gall bladder disease, and more – caused by way too much sugar in my diet, and way too much fast-foods, including the soda, even (only) medium sized. I cut back on both the fast-foods and the soda, and made sure to get more protein to balance out carbs, and cured that disease w/o any medical treatment, and also prevented Type II diabetes spreading to serious levels.

      I am still considered 'morbidly obese' in terms of my weight to height ratio, still eat lots of less-than-perfect food, but energy is up, have far better sleeping now, less night time trips to toilet, etc., etc.

      Also had developed plaque-psorisis, and that too goes away or is otherwise minimized by amount of sugar I eat – make no mistake, this article is accurate.

      It is really just the same old, same old, eat healthy, and all this crap with all this sugar in it – simply aint healthy.

      Pretty simple, eat the stuff made by God, or Nature, raw foods, and eat nothing made by Man, and you will be the best you can be.

      February 4, 2014 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
    • email

      please leave the country then

      February 4, 2014 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
    • Chris Thompson

      I sincerely hope I can be like you if and when I reach the age of 75 🙂

      February 4, 2014 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
    • nikosan

      You sound well behaved, that is great. But I know people who drink one to two liters of Pepsi a day! As a child I was allowed to drink as much soda as I wanted. As a result I now have
      Cardiovasular Disease and Diabetes and Iam not close to being obese. I now won't touch the stuff thanks to the experts and I am greatful for their educated knowledge.

      February 4, 2014 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • Really ?

      Seriously, what a stupid comment... people in America are afraid to eat and drink because of health warnings? Come on–the doctors are just telling you that we are a FAT nation and there are serious heath risks to certain things ( done constantly–over consumption)–which all contribute to insanely high medical costs in our society...don't be a complete dope–you can drink some wine, even smoke a cigar once in a while, have a few steaks... just run and drink tons of water and eat your veggies. on a regular basis..THINK about your intake.... you have to be a tea partier ...because your comment is completely imebecilic...YES, you are FREE to eat ANYTHING– wolf away!!! Or do things in moderation and combine it with excercise and a good flush ... SURE, we are all frightened to death ...think i'll MOVE ...

      February 4, 2014 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
  6. Solomon Walker

    1. Exhaust from vehicles;
    2. Doctors that misdiagnose;
    3. Cigarettes;
    4. Monsanto;
    5. Corruption;

    All kill human bodies, too.

    Soda seems hardly something to worry about compared to the listed more serious killers in American society.

    February 4, 2014 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • neil

      I see lots of overweight people here in denial 😉

      February 4, 2014 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
    • LABorn

      Well, Monsanto is behind the high fructose corn syrup that is the main ingredient in soda. OR it's sugar beet sugar, which are GMO. Both corn and sugar beets are GMO and straight from Monsanto. They created DDT, asbestos, agent orange, rBGH, and GMOs, all will kill us, animals and the environment.

      February 4, 2014 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • Avoidance

      I feel a lot better when I avoid all of these things including refined sugar.

      February 4, 2014 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • bobo

      Doctors that misdiagnose – sugar related illness
      Monsanto – is the main producer of cord seeds that are used to make sugar
      Corruption – Monsanto and the FDA are one and the same.
      The sugar industry is lobbying in our gov every single day
      read...
      http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/sugar-industry-lies-campaign

      February 4, 2014 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
  7. Zarnold

    Trimming your finger nails everyday may cause them to fly into your throat choking you. So trimming finger nails may cause death. Wait about a month or two CNN will post a new article, "Drinking the sugar in pop may extended your life ". Come on.

    February 4, 2014 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Bill Davis

    We have known that for many years...
    Sugar Bear

    February 4, 2014 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ataricade

    So tired of this will kill you and that will kill you. I eat what I want.

    February 4, 2014 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Markus Tarkus

    THAT'S what killed Philip Hoffman!

    February 4, 2014 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cofran2004

      No, I'm pretty sure the needle in his arm had more to do with that...

      February 4, 2014 at 14:13 | Report abuse |
  11. Nononi

    For crying out loud, do we have anything left to eat that won't kill us?

    Tony

    February 4, 2014 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cofran2004

      New study reveals eating anything will kill you. Details at 5...

      February 4, 2014 at 14:13 | Report abuse |
  12. Steven Cobowabo

    The answer is again, go back to what our bodies were evolved to run on, and not just during the ice age but over many thousands of years.. Lots of veggies and root plants, some fruit, and small amounts grain, dairy and meat. Current research indicates Ideally a persons plate should consider of about half to 3/4 of it with veggies and root plants.
    Look at your plate the next few meals and see how close/far you are from that.

    February 4, 2014 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. historyspeaks10

    obesity is caused by not getting enough exercise to burn off the caloric intake of foods consumed, nothing more, nothing less. i'll eat, drink and smoke whatever i want until the day i die. "to enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites, moderation is for monks" lazarus long.

    February 4, 2014 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. wuzup25

    Doncha just love the beverage group's PR person's statement? LOL Not a surprise there. . . The problem with this story is that it doesn't give us simple ways to cut down. I mean who drinks Mountain Dew, anyway? Notice that the scientist didn't choose to say Coke or Pepsi! That's right. Hellz no, don't want 20 lawyers slapping a lawsuit on ya.

    February 4, 2014 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steven Gold

      If a person is eating a BK Whapper large value meal, that is 1,620 calories.
      Three meals eating with a calorie count like/near that would be 4860 calories, not counting any other snacks or items.
      Let's assume a big very active guy of 6' 2" and 250 lean pounds. They would burn about 3915 calories in a day.
      That leaves 955 calories. At a really aggressive workout for two hours, with no resting they could burn that off.
      I think the number of people who fit that profile is hugely (pun intended) remote.

      February 4, 2014 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
  15. Idontgiva

    Sugar's are not the problem, it's the medication you take. Sugars have been around since man was smart enough to eat it. Look at the cancer rates per pharmaceutical tests and releases.

    Ever notice the side effects are drastically worst then the problem they are suppose to fix or mask?

    February 4, 2014 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. TheMovieFan

    Sugar or corn syrup?

    February 4, 2014 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Mopery

    In other news, a 35 year-old yoga instructor suffered a massive coronary while jogging his daily 15 miles, his final were were "What the fcuk?!"

    February 4, 2014 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chris

      I dont care who you are. running 15 miles a day is not healthy for your body. That stresses every organ beyond it's abilitly to function normally.

      February 4, 2014 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
  18. fblevins1

    I am a type 2 diabetic that could not stand the taste of artificial sweeteners and continued to drink soda or sugar based drinks. Until one day I was at starbucks and decided to try Splenda....WOW, great taste without the horrid aftertaste you get from the chemicals. Now I drink home brewed Iced Tea sweetened with Splenda with a small lemon wedge added, all which I hear are actually good for you.

    Disclaimer: No animals were harmed in the typing of this response and....I approve this message.

    February 4, 2014 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. BeverlyNC

    All those who sneer at facts they do not want to hear can pretend they don't exist. Sugar, not fat grams, are the most dangerous ingredients in our food. Why do you think we have the highest rate of obesity (alarming rates in children) and the most diabetics ever. Sugar, of whatever form you want to pretend, is sugar and the body sees it as sugar. Artificial sweeteners like Truvia and Stevia and Splenda may contain less calories but they still raise your glucose levels. Sugar destroys your liver, adds weight, and with extra pounds raises your blood glucose levels to make people pre-diabetic and eventually diabetic.
    My family has a history of Type II diabetes and I watched the years of decline they experience. The kidney problems, the liver problems, and most die from heart failure because as the other organs struggle it strains the heart. Diabetes is all about blood sugar levels. I intentionally work hard to stay thin and read labels on everything.
    What you are sold to believe is healthy is often not. Have you ever read the label on your so-called healthy yogurt? The sugar grams are usually 23 – 30 grams for that tiny cup which is more sugar than you should consume in an entire day. Supposed healthy fiber-rich and heart healthy cereals are loaded with sugar.
    The only thing you should be reading on a product label is the sugar grams. If it is much above 10gms per serving – find something else.
    This time of year when people are wanting to diet they are being fooled into believing "protein" drinks will help you lose weight. Have you looked at the sugar grams in the Special K protein drink? 38 grams of sugar. You are not going to lose weight with that much sugar in any product.
    I have researched this widely because I have watched members of my family die awful deaths from diabetes.
    The Sugar Lobby is very large in Washington, as much as big oil, but we need to rebel against manufacturers who fill our products with ridiculous amount of sugar. "Low fat" means nothing to your weight. SUGAR is the obesity ingredient and eventually it will kill you through weight gain and diabetes.
    You will be amazed how much better you feel when you lower your sugar intake. More energy, less sluggishness, weight loss, and even clearer thinking. Ever laughed about putting yourself into a "sugar coma" after eating a whole pint of ice cream? Basically you are. An overload of sugar makes you tired, sleepy, and saps you of energy to even want to get up and do anything.
    Eat products made for diabetics to start bringing down your sugar levels. Want a real protein drink? Drink Glucerna – low in sugar and high in protein. Write your favorite food manufacturers and tell them you will not eat their products until they bring down the sugar content.
    Sugar is your body's enemy.

    February 4, 2014 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. LABorn

    Not all sugars are the same. Highly processed and GMO sugar beet sugar is horrible for health. Raw, unprocessed sugar, honey are not going to affect one's health in the same negative way.....And don't believe what an MD says about it, they have no clue about nutrition, typically (unless they are the rare exception).

    February 4, 2014 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LABorn

      Or high fructose corn syrup, GMO is NOT sugar, but is being sold as such.

      February 4, 2014 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
  21. Name

    A 38% increase in risk is honestly not that much. But I guess this will help politicians make their next push for tax revenue in the name of public safety.....the Added Sugar Tax.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. NYreader

    White flour, white rice and potatoes all convert to sugar and this article fails to mention juice which is...soda flavored with fruit. Moms feed juice to their children thinking it's a good thing...yeah, no! And sugar is sugar no matter the source. Cane, beets, corn, agave, too much will still cause diabetes and too little will still cause hypoglycemia and both diseases will still contribute to Alzheimer's Disease.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Liz

    Anyone who has lived with the belief that sugar is even remotely healthy or that the amounts we have been eating all these years are not nearly as deadly as fat has been living with their head in the sand. Still doesn't change the fact that I'd probably go a bit crazy without sugar but I cut mine down years ago, though I doubt to the degree that doctors would like.

    Still as for the last few lines of this article about taxing sugars...you'd really just cause a huge war of us against the government on that one. A sugar tax wouldn't stop or slow people down from sugar like it does tabacco and alcohol. To be honest I'm pretty sure people didn't stop smoking due to taxes most did when they saw people die all shriveled up and horrible looking from cancer. If I'm going to die some day I'd rather die happily with a candy bar and a soda in my hand then of cancer or getting shot.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. I smell fear tactics

    How about that class action law suit as a result of this? Everyone who is fat and ever drank a soda can sue to put Pepsi and Coke out of business. First it was tobacco. Now it's sugar.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Really?

    Which type are we talking about here? Because the majority of "sugar" in soft drinks these days is not sugar from sugar cane plant....it is a processed corn product...that studies have shown our bodies do no process. There are other types of sugar that have been ruled bad for us....and like this university study I always wonder who wrote the check that paid for it? Could it be the Corn Lobby?

    February 4, 2014 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. commonSensed

    Long been known sugar lowers your immune response. Now it's a news flash? Western medicine is funny sometimes.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Carroll

    Guilty as charged, I'll be eating my sugar till the day I die than.... Foolishness. Here's someone who has it out for sugar. Anything, I mean anything and everything, when you take too much of it, will Kill You.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Pat

    Lots of sodas every day over nearly seven decades and so far, so good. Did back off Jolt Colas, though.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Dave

    That would be High Fructose corn syrup that is killing people, not the table sugar, Sucrose, that used to be in sodas.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. NoChance

    FYI: Simply being alive will kill you.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. barbarianofgor

    Take note, it isn't just a diet of candy here.
    We have a massive amount of unnecessary sugars – from the food we eat. Anything processed they add tons of sugar because otherwise it tastes like METAL.

    Just wish they'd look into "Celluose" aka putting SAWDUST into food as a filler. For cheap food as a filler, for expensive food as 'dietary extender'. Those lil african boys with big bellies get it trying to eat anything from bark to grass to dirt, and we get fed finely ground plant fiber.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. darknesscrown

    People seem to be overlooking the fact that almost everything you eat in the United States is overloaded with REFINED sugar. Corn syrup is one of the worst chemical compounds you can put in your body. Europe and some pan-Asian countries have banned it completely...as in, it's illegal to produce food with it. Not here. Because producers own the people making the laws. There is nothing good about the types of sugar compounds the U.S. uses in it's food production...and companies do it because it's cheaper and Congress allows them to. Soda isn't the only thing that is saturated with sugar...everything from bread to ketchup contains huge amounts of sugar (or gets converted to sugar in your body). The human body is pretty reslilient, but making it work double time to keep your dumb ### alive isn't a good strategy.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Wild Omar

    Hey Sonjay. You come out against sugar, but for pot? Really? So eating sugar is somehow worse than burning plant leaves and inhaling the smoke? You seem to be a bit selective in your criticisms. Is it perhaps you that you are going with the whims of popular opinion?

    February 4, 2014 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. JackScagnetti

    his is such BS. Another made up study that proves nothing. The only reason for this article is to tax us more on soda. Expect soda prices to skyrocket because they need more tax money and need a reason to do so.

    From WebMD
    "Many media reports overstated the findings. And even when the stories got it
    right, she says the headlines often got it wrong by leaving the
    impression that her research proved the diet soda-stroke connection.

    Gardener's team attempted to control for known heart attack and stroke risk factors, such as poor diet and lack of exercise, but she concedes that these factors could have influenced the findings.

    They try to make a story out of nothing. If your lazy and overweight then you need to exercise. PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

    DO NOT TAX MY SODA! Tax on SODA has been in the works for months and this is all a bunch of BS.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Lew

    I find balance , even though I have done 8 Ironman races and I am 5ft 11 180 at 57 years old, I won't drink soda , but i make a great blueberry smoothie, makes my craving for sugar go away, its not how long we live, but how well we live. I plan on taking care of my body, because 10 years from now it will take care of me and even further down the road.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. wonderabout

    Thankfully, many people here have called out the glaring omission and just plain wrong info – it's HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP that is killing us – NOT real sugar! Sheesh – we can't trust mainstream media and their shills – and btw, who is the shill that wrote this?

    February 4, 2014 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Rabid Goon

    thanks for the tip. i'll stick with cocaine.

    February 4, 2014 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Barfko Swill

    whaaaat? Sugar comes from a plant – it's a vegetable, how can that be bad 😉
    Brownies are the best health food around – cocoa beans, sugar beets, flour, vegetable oil (liquid veggies) and in Washington or Colorado you can add a bit of mary jane – it's all plant matter, it's gotta be good for you. Please don't take my brownies away!

    February 4, 2014 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Phil in KC

    All this is good and well – except that I have no idea how many calories I consume over the course of a day or what percentage is "added sugar". I'm not going to keep track of every morsel that passes my lips, how many calories are in said morsels and how much sugar I've added. That's just too much work.

    February 4, 2014 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. BrickellPrincess

    News Flash: Getting out of bed in the morning can kill you! Heck, staying in bed can kill you too! Oh wait, we're all going to die one day. What's the point of these stupid stories. There's no one on this planet that has lived for ever; we're all dying! So enjoy your sugary snacks and eat as much as you want. In the end, we all die regardless! So you might as well die with your mouth covered in chocolate!

    February 4, 2014 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. iluvdausa

    Sweetener, not actual 'sugar', is what is in most of the packaged, canned, etc. foods sold here in the U.S.A. The sweetener being used most is high fructose corn syrup and it is in almost everything you buy. A direct link between high fructose corn syrup and diabetes has been found. Any highly processed sweetener is something that is not going to be recognized by our complex bodily organs and that is what is causing the problem of too much sweetener in our diets, not regular table 'sugar' or the sugar found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Many processing companies started using high fructose corn syrup in the early 70's because they said sugar was too expensive. Why then do you not find high fructose corn syrup in foods processed in countries like Mexico and South Africa? If sugar is so expensive how is it possible that those countries are still using regular, natural 'sugar' and not high fructose corn syrup? My guess? It’s all about the bottom dollar and the companies using high fructose corn syrup would see their profits go down. They don’t care about the American people and how many of them are getting diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

    February 4, 2014 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. TronGod

    I have been eating high levels of sugar all my life! Hum....I am 51 and still alive...and I am a hypoglycemic (a person with LOW blood sugar levels)! PS: I have never had a cavity in my teeth either! Yea…sugar is bad for you….RIGHT! LOL… Listen, it is easy…as my doctors and nutritionist have stated…EVERYTING IN MOTERATION!  Watch you calorie count, and balance your meals, and you will have a nice long life! You need carbs (sugars too), proteins, and fats in a balanced intake to maintain a healthy body, along with at least 30 mins of physical exercise each day….or at least a combined total of 210 mins per week…with at least 3 days of physical exercise…that means getting you heart to a target heart rate and keeping it there for at least 30 mins at a time! (PS: You can overdo exercise too! Case in point, when I was 34 in the US Navy, I was running a just over 5 min mile pace, a 15:31 5K 1st place win, and a 31:46 10K 1st place…was out doing my drills for a marathon, a fell over on the race track from a heart attack…it seems I pushed my body a little too hard according to the doctors…the valve in my heart would flutter and stick once I reached a certain physical level. The doctor told me to watch that, and not push myself too hard. Now I know that it is something I can control and watch.) And this IS NOT related to too much sugar in my bloodstream...most of the time, my fasting blood levels are between 24mg/dL and 74mg/dL, and I almost never go over 100mg/dL, even after a meal high in sugar levels!

    February 4, 2014 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. JJ

    So can water. Get a life.

    February 4, 2014 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. motley

    Great thing is that this is my life and my body,.. so I will do what I want. IF the nanny state becomes overbearing,.. I will revolt violently,.. as that is also my choice.

    February 4, 2014 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. AL

    does this apply to fruit sugars? cause i eat aloooott of fruit

    February 4, 2014 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. grace

    We need to ban soda before this thing gets out of hand.

    February 4, 2014 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Rick

    Diet sodas are even WORSE. The artificial sweetner attacks your nervous system and causes symptoms like LUPUS or Fibromyalgia. Vision loss, difficulty in walking, shaky hands, hearing loss, generalized pain. If you keep drinking diet soda the damage is permanent and you essentially do get Lupus.

    February 4, 2014 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. TonyInNYC

    I think the problem is the sugar tastes sweet, and that's something people like. If they could invent a sugar that didn't taste sweet and put that in sodas, people would drink a lot less soda.

    February 4, 2014 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. JoeyD75

    Here we go again. This will kill you, this may kill you, etc. Then, good news the things that was suppose to kill you is now beneficial to you. I think the thing that will def. make anyone insane are these types of ads the media puts out for all of to read and go insane.

    February 4, 2014 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Paul

    Huh, I didn't know that the flour, water, salt, and yeast only bread that I make has sugar added to it. Must be sugar ninjas.

    February 4, 2014 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • INKT

      Flour is sugar...

      February 4, 2014 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.