Overeaters Anonymous is a group that focuses on stopping eating processed sugar. For decades now OA has successfully motivated people to stop eating all processed sugar for many years at a time. I just know this from going to meetings with my mom as a kid. Her group at the time was not so God focused as some groups are. It is an issue to use God language in that it will limit the number of people interested in joining the group. People would meet and stand up in the circle and say today I have now gone 20 years without sugar (meaning processed sugar of any kind). As a kid I experimented and went one year this way very happily. I still remark on how freeing it is to discover this will power and freedom.
Nature’s article: Public health: The toxic truth about sugar looks at sugar regulation which could include tax, limiting sales during school hours and placing age limits on purchase.
Why? Here is the heart of the article:
“A growing body of epidemiological and mechanistic evidence argues that excessive sugar consumption affects human health beyond simply adding calories4. Importantly, sugar induces all of the diseases associated with metabolic syndrome1, 5. This includes: hypertension (fructose increases uric acid, which raises blood pressure); high triglycerides and insulin resistance through synthesis of fat in the liver; diabetes from increased liver glucose production combined with insulin resistance; and the ageing process, caused by damage to lipids, proteins and DNA through non-enzymatic binding of fructose to these molecules. It can also be argued that fructose exerts toxic effects on the liver that are similar to those of alcohol1. This is no surprise, because alcohol is derived from the fermentation of sugar. Some early studies have also linked sugar consumption to human cancer and cognitive decline.
Sugar also has clear potential for abuse. Like tobacco and alcohol, it acts on the brain to encourage subsequent intake. There are now numerous studies examining the dependence-producing properties of sugar in humans6. Specifically, sugar dampens the suppression of the hormone ghrelin, which signals hunger to the brain. It also interferes with the normal transport and signalling of the hormone leptin, which helps to produce the feeling of satiety. And it reduces dopamine signalling in the brain’s reward centre, thereby decreasing the pleasure derived from food and compelling the individual to consume more1, 6.
Finally, consider the negative effects of sugar on society. Passive smoking and drink-driving fatalities provided strong arguments for tobacco and alcohol control, respectively. The long-term economic, health-care and human costs of metabolic syndrome place sugar overconsumption in the same category7. The United States spends $65 billion in lost productivity and $150 billion on health-care resources annually for morbidities associated with metabolic syndrome. Seventy-five per cent of all US health-care dollars are now spent on treating these diseases and their resultant disabilities. Because about 25% of military applicants are now rejected for obesity-related reasons, the past three US surgeons general and the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff have declared obesity a “threat to national security”.