Is Sugar the Next Great Health Crisis? [VIDEO]
You know cigarettes and excessive alcohol consumption are bad for you. But what about sugar? A California doctor says it's not just unhealthy, it's downright toxic.
On Sunday night's '60 Minutes,' Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, said sugar doesn't just make us fat, it leads to Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
He even said the regulations and warnings labels mandated for alcohol and tobacco should apply to sugar, as well, telling CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, "Something needs to be done. Ultimately, this is a public health crisis ... you have to do big things and you have to do them across the board."
A recent study indicated excess consumption of high fructose corn syrup -- which Dr. Lustig says is no worse than regular sugar -- can boost risk factors for heart disease by increasing a type of cholesterol that can clog arteries. What's more, other scientific work reveals sugar could aid the growth of cancer tumors by stimulating the production of the hormone insulin.
Jim Simon, a member of the board of the Sugar Association, told Gupta the science is "not completely clear" and that singling out one food is unfair, adding, "To say that the American consuming public is going to omit, eliminate sweeteners out of their diet, I don't think gets us there."
Watch the '60 Minutes' segment below.