How Little Sugar is Still Too Much?
“The Case Against Sugar” delves into:
- The history of sugar consumption
- Sugar’s unexpected inclusion in so much of what we eat
- Links sugar and chronic diseases – diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and most illnesses of the Western Diet.
Gary also argues for the link between sugar consumption and Alzheimer’s Disease and Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
The author of ‘Why We Get Fat” and “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, likens sugar to tobacco.
Taubes doesn’t just believe sugar is the cause of modern obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics.
He also believes if these epidemics were infectious diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would have declared an emergency years ago.
Summary of Key Points:
- History is vital to understand current health in the US and around the world
- Sugar was first added to tobacco starting in 1930 to maximize inhalability, decrease irritation to mucous membranes and deliver greater nicotine concentration
- In 2012, 12% of the US population have diabetes and 30% will have diabetes in their lifetime
- Sugar induces responses in the reward center of our brains, releasing dopamine and other neurotransmitters, the same as nicotine, cocaine and heroin. In animal studies, rats will choose sugar over cocaine or heroin. Taubes recognizes rats are not humans, and that we cannot test on humans, but it does highlight the potential for addiction
- Obesity not simply due to lack of exercise and overeating
- Obesity has a genetic bias and made worse by dietary choices and subsequent manifestations in the endocrine system of the human body
- Primary argument sugar consumption is the gateway to insulin resistance, obesity and the plethora of Western diseases
- Diabetes is a discrete diagnosis but not discrete phenomena where bad things start happening suddenly. It a descent from health to disease by worsening metabolic abnormalities, a disruption to homeostasis and associated insulin resistance 
What I Liked About the Book
I found the book easy to read with a mix of statistics and science, history and a basic explanation of how sugar affects our body chemistry in the short and long-term.
Taubes also presents information about the links between food rewards, eating behavior and obesity.
This information is too important to ignore.
It is a glimpse into the world of how processed food is engineered to appeal to our reward system and how will power is not the solution.
I enjoyed reading this as a hardcover edition with thick pages evoking the feeling of a reference book.
After reading the book a second time, I became aware of the bias towards sugar being the only cause of our modern-day ills.
I don’t think it’s that simple or the full picture.
Sugar intake in the US has declined since 1999, while obesity and diabetes have increased significantly. 
Taubes avoids linking obesity, lack of physical activity and insulin resistance at the preclusion of other factors that are not linked to sugar consumption
Our bodies are not static.
Chronic diseases have been reversed by diet changes including Dr Terry Wahls, confined to a wheelchair by Multiple Sclerosis prior to focussing on nutrition. And I’m sure you can know of people in your family and community who improved their health by changing their diet.
We cannot ignore the impact of sugar, especially hidden sugars in our food supply.
“The Case Against Sugar” is a starting point but not a complete picture of the relationship between calories, physical activity, sugar consumption, obesity, We cannot ignore the impact of hidden sugars in our food supply.
Other reviews for comparison:
Thanks for reading and let me know what you think of the book!
 Taubes, Gary “The Case Against Sugar”, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2016 , p70
Taubes, Gary “The Case Against Sugar”, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2016 , p40
Taubes, Gary “The Case Against Sugar”, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2016 , p114
 Taubes, Gary “The Case Against Sugar”, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2016 , p267