When SpongeBob SquarePants gets drunk on ice cream in his self-titled movie, he rants, reels and generally steps in it! Seems a sugar buzz can put even a high-strung animated character on a Rocky Road. Well, now researchers are declaring that cartoon story is not so make-believe.
“Sugar is the alcohol of childhood!” says a panel of doctors, professors, researchers and nutritionists who founded Action on Sugar (actiononsugar.org). Their declaration of war on companies that target kids with obesity-inducing, sugar-rich foods — and their plea to adults to avoid them, too — builds on the info in a 2012 paper in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that revealed that added fructose (from corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup and a zillion other products) when consumed in excess is “a chronic, dose-dependent liver toxin” that damages the liver just like alcohol does! And on top of that, it’s metabolized directly into fat, not energy!
You’ve heard us say time and again that all added sugars and syrups are Food Felons and a healthy life depends on avoiding them! Now there’s one more reason to protect your kids and yourself from the damage they can do.
So, start with this: Check ingredients listings for added sugars, such as sucrose, glucose, syrup, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup or HFCS. Refuse to buy anything that has more than 4 grams per serving of those ingredients. You can enjoy natural sweetness from fresh fruit, 100 percent whole grains and big-flavor herbs like basil, mint and lavender.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.