Just a Spoonful

Feb 27, 2012 by

Having problems with your New Year’s resolution to eat healthy? (Or for Catholics, your Lenten promise?)  Well don’t fret, because society is becoming more willing to help you break you addiction to foods sparkling with sugar.  You’ll be sugar-free in no time, whether you like it or not.

Recently people have been very concerned with America’s health.  More and more people are becoming fat to the point of morbid obesity.  Now some researchers are pushing to get sugar labeled as a toxin, and want to place restrictions on it similar to the ones already placed on tobacco and alcohol.[1]

Until the discovery of the Americas and the booming sugar trade that followed, sugar was hard to get and was usually consumed in honey as a treat or in fruit during the harvest season.  Sugar was so attractive to Europeans that they shipped hundreds of thousands of Africans to be worked to death in the Caribbean in order to produce this ‘white gold.’  Since then the sugar trade has not slowed down.  Now a lot of the sugar we consume is in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which because of its cheapness is used to replace higher quality (read: more expensive) ingredients.  Along with making food taste better, sugar is addictive because it makes us crave more sugary foods.

The efficiency of capitalism has made sugar easily available to us.  But consuming so much sugar has become inefficient because it is costing us too much in health care.  That is why sugar may someday be thought of in the same way as tobacco (i.e. a harmful, addictive substance).  Our capitalistic society will use peer pressure and economic incentives to change our behaviors once again in order to make us more efficient as cogs in the capitalistic machine.  How will society do this?  By drawing connections between rising health care costs and the consumption of sugar.  Since health care is increasingly being paid for through taxes, it would be bad for the country and therefore unpatriotic to be unhealthy on purpose.  There will be increased pressure for manufacturers to decrease the amount of sugar in their products, and social stigma placed upon eating sweets while healthier, sugar-free foods are promoted.  A lot of this is already happening.

It would be possible for people to break their addiction to sugar naturally, by making the necessary changes on their own, but we know that that’s not going to happen.  Besides, that would take too long.  Individual motivation is so inefficient.  Having the government regulate our sugar intake is much more efficient and therefore much more appealing to our society.  You won’t break your resolution if you can’t break it.  So get ready to say goodbye to that donut, because society is gearing up to break your addiction for you.


[1] Christopher Wanjek, “Sugar Should Be Regulated as a Toxin, Researchers Say,” LiveScience.com (Feb. 2, 2012): http://news.yahoo.com/sugar-regulated-toxin-researchers-180605186.html

 

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