The phrase “Sitting is the New Smoking” is being tossed around a lot these days. It’s basically a reminder of the negative health consequences that come from sitting down too much, or partaking in a sedentary lifestyle (office workers and avid video game players come to mind). “Sitting is the New Smoking” sounds catchy and cool. It’s even a reasonable conclusion to come to. But I’m not quite sure the two activities (sitting and smoking) are even in the same ballpark. Kind of like the Yankees and the Mets.

On the contrary, THERE ARE several clear similarities between sugar consumption and smoking (especially at the industry level). In my opinion, if we can compare anything to smoking, it’s definitely sugar consumption. Just like the tobacco industry did in the 1960’s and 70’s, the sugar industry used deceptive marketing in the 80’s to push their products (i.e. kid’s cereal commercials). When folks started to catch on, the sugar industry got called out. But to cover up, big sugar relied on it’s wealth and power to influence policy and stay afloat (just like big tobacco).

Today, the devastating effects of diabetes continue to play out before our very eyes. Obesity rates are through the roof and the cost of related complications are set to overwhelm the healthcare industry in the near future. In the meantime, more evidence is piling up and more fingers are pointing to sugar as the main culprit. By the time it gets figured out, the damage will be more than done.

Harmful Effects of Sugar Consumption:

From a food standpoint, there’s nothing else in the world like sugar. It’s the ONLY food source that’s BOTH carbohydrates and fat. Glucose, the carbohydrate molecule of sugar, can be positively put to use by every single organ in the body. Furthermore, if your body doesn’t produce enough of it, it’ll make it’s own.

On the other hand, fructose is the fatty molecule of sugar. It rears it’s ugly head in many forms, but can only be processed in the liver. If the liver receives too much fructose, it becomes overloaded. When it can’t take any more, the fructose (metabolized as fat) leaks into the body and the following complications can arise:

  • Fatty Liver
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Hypertension
  • Weight Gain

However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. If the process gets out of control, the end result can include:

  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Live in Your OcularPrime:

So how much sugar consumption is too much? It depends on how much fructose the liver can process. An active lifestyle will help your liver function properly, but today’s diets are filled with so much refined sugar, it’s hard to be sure what’s happening on our insides. You might think you’re drinking a healthy juice or eating “low-fat” foods and your body can still be overwhelmed by sugar.

So that’s all I’ll say for now. You can get a better explanation of this topic by watching Fed Up, a documentary which focuses on the cause of obesity in the United States.

In a related post, I’ll go over a few ways to decrease sugar intake.