Inside Story: Sweet and dangerous

Sugar is rapidly becoming public health enemy number one, but will food companies stop using it when it is so tasty, so pervasive and so profitable? Susan Mitchell reports.

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
18th May, 2013
Sugar is the primary reason for the massive increase in the number of people presenting with obesity and diabetes over the past three decades. Photo: Getty

In May 2009, Dr Robert Lustig gave a lecture called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It went viral, clocking up over 3.5 million views. That's not bad for a 90-minute scientific tract on the complexities of fructose biochemistry and human physiology. Lustig, a Californian endocrinologist, makes the case that sugar is a "toxin" or a "poison" and then goes further and personifies the popular foodstuff as "evil".

Lustig was not only referring to the white granules that we...

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