Warning: John Oliver's Sugar Rant Will Ruin Your Halloween

October 27th 2014

Adam Rotstein

Last night, John Oliver did another one of his trademark exposés, this time on the secretly nefarious sugar industry. We recently published a piece about how sugar is similar to cocaine in the way that it activates the same reward pathways in our brains. While it is already a struggle to abstain from sugar loaded drinks and desserts, the sugar industry is not making it any easier for us sweet toothed suckers. 

With Halloween inching its creepy head around the corner, we should be cognizant of the way sugar products are marketed to us. While the FDA is working to require an "Added Sugar" portion to the Nutritional Facts label, outspoken executives from "Big Splenda" are working to undercut these efforts and obfuscate potential risk factors. The American Beverage Association expressed in a letter to the FDA that added sugars should be listed in grams, not teaspoons, as the latter may have "negative connotations." This is ridiculous for several reasons. Stating the facts does not have any intrinsic "negative" or "positive" connotations. They just are. Switching the measuring unit, on the other hand, would have the obvious effect of spinning the data to make it appear less grave. The bottom line is that our consumers should receive an accurate depiction of how much sugar is in a given product. 

Just putting the information out there, however, does not guarantee a healthier consumption rate for American kids. A recent study from the University of Michigan showed that sugar consideration can vary by parents. While 46% of mothers say that information from the nutrition label "very often" influences their decisions, only 33% of fathers said the same. 

But with potential risk factors such as premature aging, diabetes, and obesity, sugar is definitely something everyone needs to be taken seriously. 

To learn more about the dangerous effects of sugar, click here