Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sugar consumption been high before

I'm sure that you have heard that our sugar consumption is really bad and that we eat way more sugar than we ever used to. Now this is somewhat true. However have a look at the line graph. It shows that sugar consumption massively increased from about 1860 to 1915. Before WWI occured and sugar consumption went down. It then again massively increased to pre war levels before WWII. However after WWII the increase was much slower and it wasn't until the 70's that the sugar consumption level reached that of 1915 or pre WWII.

Now since the 70's - ie over 40 years, the sugar consumption has continued to rise. As the graph below shows the total sugar intake as gone from 55 kg / person to 69 kg / person. This increase is with line with the trend of the above graph. Also note that the types of sugar have changed from sugar (sucrose) to glucose and high fructose corn syrup. Neither glucose or fructose corn syrup are found in large quantities in nature (or not at all with high fructose syrup).

Therefore given that historically sugar intake has been at high levels, without the levels of degenerative diseases seen today. One could conclude that high sugar is not the issue - it is the type of sugar. Or you could conclude that it takes decades of high sugar intake to create degenerative disease. Or sugar doesn't create degenerative disease. My money would be on the long term exposure to sugar is the real issue. 


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