Sugar should not be regulated like alcohol

Carly Yamrus, Opinion Editor

I recently stumbled across an opinion article on CNN written by a medical sociologist claiming to know what works and doesn’t work when protecting people from harm. After listing her credentials she then proceeded to tell me that sugar should be regulated like alcohol.

The professor offered several “solutions” for America’s enduring obesity problem, including taxing sugar and age limits. That will be the day, when you must be 18 or older to buy a bag of chips, and more taxes! This lady had it all figured out.

Her argument for regulating sugar like alcohol? Both alcohol and junk food can cause high blood pressure and a fatty liver. What else causes high blood pressure? Too much salt, stress, lack of physical activity, old age…

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about thirty three percent of adults are obese and seventeen percent of children and adolescents are overweight. These numbers have tripled in just one generation. In 1992, approximately twelve percent of adults were obese.

For generations, people have been eating snacks and drinks with sugar in them. Fast food has been around for decades. All of the sudden there is this great increase in overweight individuals. Many it’s not the food, but how much of it we eat, and how much we do or don’t exercise.

The point is, a lot of things are bad for you in large quantities. Eating sugar is not necessarily bad for your body if it is eaten in moderation. What won’t work is applying laws to healthy people because of the poor eating habits of others. Alcohol and tobacco are a little different. They affect the lives of not only the individual, but others around them. Drunk driving and abuse, as well as secondhand smoke, affects the lives of non drinkers and non smokers. The amount of sugar a person consumers, well, that’s a personal problem.

No matter what the causes are for this ongoing issue, one thing is for sure. This is America, where we are free to choose. Free to choose the food and drinks we put into our bodies and free to choose whether or not we want to exercise. I have a problem with people telling me what I can or cannot put into my body. After all, it’s mine.

What we need to do is educate Americans on the harmful effects of over eating and basic nutrition. Healthier food should be made more affordable to those living in poverty. There are many changes to be made, but in the end, it all comes down to personal choice, effort, and awareness.

There are consequences for every action and some people just can’t seem to accept that fact. I can hardly believe that the idea of regulating sugar in such a way was even considered to be an option for us. We do not need our government making the most basic choices for us. When we do we lose our freedom it’s time for Americans to take responsibility for their actions instead of waiting on changes that may not come in this lifetime.