Letter to Robert H. Lustig, Laura A. Schmidt & Claire D. Brindis with regard to their article in the Scientific Journal of Nature titled Public health: The toxic truth about sugar.
Dear Mr. Lustig, Ms. Schmidt and Ms. Brindis,
In your thoughtful piece regarding "the toxic truth about sugar", you state the obvious - and I would agree; the average Joe needs to be aware of the health risks in forever satisfying his sweet tooth. And I'm assuming you'd agree that lack of exercise contributes as well to the ills you've associated with sugar consumption*. Right?
We part ideologically however where you suggest that government should control sweeteners like it does alcohol. For starters, you'd only be addressing part of the problem; i.e., they'd be regulating sweets but completely ignoring sweat. And, more importantly, if we allow government to penetrate that far into our personal decisions, or, more accurately, our options, where would it stop?
What if ten years after achieving, through legislation, a 50% reduction in average Joe's daily sugar intake we see no marked improvement in his overall health. You think maybe you intellectuals would then offer up the empirical evidence showing inertia to be the ultimate culprit? And wouldn't you then, given that you clearly possess the audacity, propose that government impose restrictions on access to, say, television programs (save, of course, for PBS programs), game consoles and home computers? Perhaps require that all home electronics be engineered to play for one hour, then shut down for three, 24/7? I mean, hey, you might one day control the world if you just take it one step at a time.
I say we leave producers free to load up the sugar if that's what the market demands. And, out of respect for our fellow adults, leave folks free to choose what they and their children eat. Besides, we have bigger fish to fry (I mean bake, or broil, or boil).
*P.s. I am guessing you mentioned exercise in your piece. I honestly didn't read it, as I refuse to pay your $199 subscriber fee, or the one-time $32 to obtain your original article (not complaining, I'm a capitalist too). I only caught the teaser stating that you advocate controlling sugar like alcohol.