If you ask the head of Amsterdam’s health service in the Netherlands, Paul Van der Velpen, what the biggest health threat of our time is, he’d quickly respond that sugar is. In fact, he says that sugar is the most dangerous and addictive substance of modern times—and that much more needs to be accomplished to make people aware of the dangers this “drug” causes to our health.
Van der Velpen has the science to back this up, too. He points out that sugar intensifies food cravings and, in turn, causes people to eat much more than they would eat if they didn’t consume sugar. He also explains that sugar is disruptive to normal food metabolism and can lead to sugar addiction—something that is just as difficult to break as a smoking or alcohol addiction, he says. He is also quick to say that the body does not respond that way to healthy proteins or fats. Just to sugar or unhealthy carbs.
In an English translation of the original Dutch, Van der Velpen writes, “Just like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is actually a drug. This may seem exaggerated and far fetched, but sugar is the most dangerous drug of the time and can still be easily acquired everywhere. The use of sugar should be discouraged. And users should be made aware of the dangers.”
Van der Velpen is so serious about this that he believes soft drinks should carry the kinds of warnings found on cigarettes and other tobacco products—alerting people that sugar is highly addictive and dangerous to your health. He also wants taxes on sugar and to limit, by law, the amounts of sugar that can be in processed foods and other products. “Health insurers should have to finance addiction therapy for their obese clients. Schools would no longer be allowed to sell sweets and soft drinks. Producers of sport drinks that are bursting with sugar should be sued over misleading advertising and so on,” he said.
Van der Velpen is sounding the alarm loud and clear with good reason, too. He sees the writing on the wall in the Netherlands because the number of obese people in the Netherlands has doubled over the last 20 years. That means that more than half of Dutch adults and one in seven children are overweight there.
He also clearly understands the implications of the growing obesity trend, since obesity is linked to metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and a multitude of other chronic illnesses which, by the way, put tremendous stress on the healthcare system with tens of millions of dollars each year.
Years before Van der Velpen voiced such concern, Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph. D., C.N.S., visionary health expert and New York Times award-winning author, in her book How to Stay Young and Healthy in a Toxic World, said, “Despite what mainstream media would like us to believe, sugar is not an innocent substance that gives us pleasure and causes no harm. Quite the contrary; there is perhaps nothing else in the diet that promotes disease and aging more over the long term than excess sugar. There are over 60 ailments that have been associated with sugar consumption.”
Among those Gittleman cites are obesity; cancer; diabetes; heart disease; hypertension; weakened immunity; addiction to drugs, caffeine and food; aging and premature wrinkling; bone loss and osteoporosis; high triglyceride levels; alcoholism; binge eating; colitis; allergies; anxiety; endocrine gland dysfunction; fatigue and much, much more.
All in all, sugar is a dangerous, addictive, health-destroying drug, so avoid it.