National Geographic recently interviewed Dr. Richard Johnson, co-author of Comprehensive Clinical Nephrology, 4th Edition, in its new article “Sugar Love: (A Not So Sweet Story).” The feature explores the history of sugar dating back to its early cultural uses approximately 10,000 years ago, through its eventual foray into mass production and into present-day consumption.
Putting into perspective how common sugar has become in the American diet, the article cites that the average American consumes 77 pounds of added sugar annually, equating to more than 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Dr. Johnson states that this mammoth increase in daily sugar intake is at the root of various medical conditions.
“It seems like every time I study an illness and trace a path to the first cause, I find my way back to sugar.
Why is it that one-third of adults [worldwide] have high blood pressure, when in 1900 only 5 percent had high blood pressure? Why did 153 million people have diabetes in 1980, and now we’re up to 347 million? Why are more and more Americans obese? Sugar, we believe, is one of the culprits, if not the major culprit.”
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