Sugar going down the same policy route as alcohol

It looks as though the government is compromising over sugar in the same way as it has done over alcohol. In the latter case, the government knows that the diseases alcohol causes results in immense costs to the National Health Service, and a great deal of personal stress and also criminality besides. It also receives a great amount of taxation from its production, so it is happy to see the industry thrive and only occasionally warns the public of alcohol’s dangers.

Both sugar and alcohol are small molecules which means that, once enjoyably imbibed, they can spread into any parts of the body such as the brain or kidneys. Too much consumption of sugar or alcohol by an individual over too long a period causes damage to those and other organs.

We have no genetic defences against either of them because when we lived for millions of years on the African savannah we came across beehives or bunches of fermenting fruit on a tree quite rarely. We were able to engorge ourselves only very occasionally.

The government has just received the latest report on our vast over-consumption of sugar, the resultant obesity and its consequences of a string of other diseases. But as Jamie Oliver, the celebrity chef and many other dietary experts are saying, the government is not going anywhere near as far enough in publicising it.

It very much looks as though the government is graduall adopting the same mixed policy as for alcohol. Being positive and negative about it simultaneously in order to optimise its taxation of the sugar industry.

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