Sugar is "toxic," and is hands-down the biggest problem with the American diet, declares Mark Bittman in the New York Times. He cites a new study that finds increased sugar consumption is linked to increased diabetes rates, regardless of obesity rates. "In other words, according to this study, obesity doesn’t cause diabetes: sugar does," Bittman writes. And there's no arguing with the study; it "controlled for everything controllable," and is just about as conclusive as it gets. (Bittman compares it to the 1960s study that linked cigarettes to lung cancer.)
Basically, "for every 12 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverage introduced per person per day into a country’s food system, the rate of diabetes goes up 1%," Bittman writes. If you were waiting for a smoking gun, this is it. It's time for the FDA to re-evaluate the safety of sugar, come up with a maximum daily value, and remove fructose and added sugars from its list of foods generally recognized as safe. Only then will the "pushers of sugar" no longer have "license to contaminate our food supply." Click for Bittman's full column.