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Sugar should be classified as a drug: Nutritionist

By Sapa PR | Feb 06, 2014 | COMMENTS [ 15 ]

Sugar is so highly addictive, devoid of nutrients and detrimental to the nation's health that it should be classified as a Class A drug, according to a top SA nutritionist.

Vanessa Ascencao says science has proven that sugar is taking a devastating toll on our health and is so highly addictive that the language used to describe its effects, such as "sugar highs", "sugar crashes" and "sugar cravings" mimic the descriptions of the effects of drugs.

Ascencao, nutritional consultant to business and individuals, was responding to a report that the department of health is considering a "sugar tax" to encourage South Africans to consume less

"We are facing a health pandemic as the recent HSRC and MRC's national health survey exposed. Diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease and depression are dramatically on the rise. Unhealthy lifestyles, including the high consumption of sugar laden and nutrient depleted foods, is at the core of this health crisis. It's government's obligation to take action."

"Taxation should be part of a broader plan. Government should ensure healthy food, such as fruit and vegetables, is more affordable than nutrient-depleted food. This should be coupled with a national education drive on what to eat and the dangers of sugar and artificial sweeteners which are just as unhealthy and not a viable alternative."

Ascencao says a sugar tax is not a panacea to the country's poor state of health, "but it's an educative tax. It sends a message which makes us all aware and a little more responsible for our health."


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Hehehehe!......With all the Sugarcane in KZN,Zuma will be a kingpin....

Feb 06, 2014 11:12 | 0 replies


healthy food is expensive due to the screwed up National Department of Agriculture.

Feb 06, 2014 11:22 | 0 replies


If it's not suger-daddy, it's suger-mamma, and lastly but not least it's suger diebets. Sukiri e tlile go re bontsha masepa mos. mara kukuu yo ne e salty, hence I like, I like it.

Feb 06, 2014 11:33 | 0 replies


sugar tax my foot - next thing you will be saying we need a script to buy sugar...

Feb 06, 2014 12:19 | 0 replies


What an absolute load of CLAPTRAP !!! Yes, obscene amounts of sugar are bad for you but the same can be said of ANYTHING. Water is toxic if taken in large quantities! Your brain cannot survive without sugars and there is ZERO scientific evidence that sugar consumption causes diabetes. A very varied diet is the optimum, not restricting what we consume. A little bit of everything, in moderation, is the answer. Anyone who claims to be a 'nutritionist' and doesn't know that is nothing but a scam artist

Feb 06, 2014 12:22 | 3 replies


I couldn't have said it better myself!!!! Moderation, Moderation, moderation.

Feb 07, 2014 10:9 | 0 replies


I thought nutritionist are educated especially on digestion.The problem is overnutrition not sugar.Sugar in the body is broken stored in a process called glucogenesis and stored as glycogen in a reaction that requires insulin hormone.When your body needs energy or when you starve your glycogen is broken down in a process called glucolysis into energy(ATP or body food) in a reaction that needs glucagon hormone.The problem arises when your body stores exceessive energy without being used and you become fat(lipogenesis).The metabolism of sugar in the body is regulated by beta cells in the pancreas that funtion to release insilin hormone.Weather you are thin or fat the beta cells can degenerate in the pancreas,therefore no insulin available to metabolise the sugar you eat and as a results your body will starve even if you eat enough sugar.The sugar you eat will remain in the extracellular space and will eventually be secreted in urine. This nutritionist must know one thing there nothing wrong with sugar but overeating can predispose to metabolic disease.

Feb 07, 2014 10:30 | 0 replies


That is exactly the problem with these scam artist, hongfong 'nutritionists'. You can eat zero cane sugar but be grossly obese with the resultant stress to your endocrine system. This nonsense is nothing but a new 'fashionable fad' that is imported from the daft Americans.

Feb 07, 2014 11:34 | 0 replies


If we were to listen to all these "experts" about bad food, we would have straved to death Meat is not good for you but you need protein. Carbohydrates are bad but you can eat those wiht low GI. Fruits contain a lot sugar. A glass of red wine is good for the heart and on the same article, alcohol is not good for your health. Dairy products are not good but you need calcium (not in pill form), etc>>>>>>>> Who TF or WTF are we supposed to listen to and do #SMH#

Feb 06, 2014 2:19 | 0 replies


Too much of anything is bad for our health,that we know. this is just another money making scheme by J Kop and friends.soon it will be salt.i can just imagine them trying to come up with another plan. Gwede:"Where can we hit them J Kop?" J Kop:"hmmmmmmm, what about sugar?veryone use it,right?"

Feb 06, 2014 4:18 | 0 replies


i blame Yalo's cartoon.why is the maid asking J kop if he wants tea????hahahahahahahaha

Feb 06, 2014 4:23 | 1 replies


Not one of his more striking 'toons - I agree. Check out the trophies onna wall...

Feb 07, 2014 10:53 | 0 replies


ZCC discovered it a long time ago that sugar is not good for your body. Almost all ZCC's drink tea or coffee without sugar. Even salt they do not use it... of course they use it externally lol

Feb 07, 2014 8:19 | 0 replies


Damn! Wha' would life be like without sugar... For me there are no really viable substitutes and I ain't gonna live forever anyway... The Japanese substitute is prolly the best replacement by far and, in that country, no more expensive that sugar.

Feb 07, 2014 10:50 | 0 replies


What next? Are all of life's pleasures to be criminalized and taxed by a nanny state too useless to pull its own socks up?! Stop trying to take my pleasures and my money!!! You've already stolen enough!

Feb 10, 2014 10:57 | 0 replies