Death by Sugar

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・2 Sources

Lunau’s article “Death by sugar” depicts how sugar places the society at risk by presenting one of the biggest health crises. From the article, Health Canada has developed a food label proposal that will include all types of sugar on the label (Lunau, 2017). That is important as it makes available the amount of sugar in each of the food stuff known to the customers. Based on the proposal, the maximum daily intake of sugar will be 100 grams something that never existed before. However, that will be done after consultations with the public before their implementation. The staggering amount of sugar that the Canadians consume exposes them to lots of health implications. Lunau presents the case of a 12-year-old child who weighs 200 Ib with the aim of passing information to the people on possible effects of sugar consumption (Lunau, 2017). The case of Robert Lustig, a professor at the University of San Francisco who appears in the documentary “Fed up,” is highlighted by the author to describe effects of excess sugar to the public best. According to the professor sugar is toxic, and due to that, we are in trouble because statistics show that we consume about 110 grams of sugar from the food substances.
Too much sugar has health implications to the body of an individual, and that explains why Canadians should be worried of the “sweet toxin” that they are consuming. Excess sugar leads to insulin resistance that eventually leads to diabetes type 2 (Alexander & VanTine, 2013). The resistance of the cells to the effects of insulin prompts the body to make more, and that leads to elevated blood sugar levels which are harmful to the body. As the insulin resistance continues, the pancreas cannot keep up with the demand of producing more insulin to lower the blood sugar levels. Individuals who take sweetened beverages are at 83% high risk of getting diabetes type 2 (Lunau, 2017).
The intake of more sugar to the body leads to insulin resistance which increases the demand for insulin by the body (Alexander & VanTine, 2013). Insulin is responsible for converting food into usable energy. The high levels of insulin make the body insensitive to the hormone thus leading to the buildup of glucose in the blood. Symptoms of insulin resistance include fatigue, hunger, and high blood pressure.
Excess sugar leads to obesity which is a condition that refers to being overweight or grossly fat. In one gram of sugar, there are four calories, and that implies if a food substance contains 20 grams of sugar that translate to about 80 calories (Alexander & VanTine, 2013). Sugar does not have nutrients, and, therefore, the empty calories lead to extra pounds and eventually obesity, which is a problem that affects close to one-third of Canadians. Consuming about 50 extra calories per day leads to 5-pound weight gain based on the report released by the American Heart Association. Obesity leads to other conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Excess sugar leads to heart diseases as it increases triglycerides which are fats that are a risk factor for heart diseases (Alexander & VanTine, 2013). Consuming food substances that have a high level of sugar leads to high blood pressure, an illness that has led to the death of many individuals. Failure of the liver, which is an important organ in the body, can also occur due to excess sugar in the body. The manner in which the metabolism of fructose occurs leads to stress on the liver which eventually exacerbates an inflammation. Excess sugar makes the liver go into overdrive, and that leads to an explanation as to why fructose causes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which is characterized by too much fat in the liver when an individual does not even consume alcohol (Alexander & VanTine, 2013). The health implications of taking much sugar are deadly to the Canadians who like taking sweet beverages and consuming many calories.
Just like Lunau (2017) depicts how excess sugar is not healthy for the body, Hales and Lauzon (2015) state that healthy eating is essential for an individual to live healthily. Living healthy is a choice made by an individual; however, the question of what we do while we know the implications of carelessly eating is not put into practice. The article by Hales and Lauzon (2017) highlights the concept of an obesity epidemic in Canada, which is a health implication that develops due to excess sugar. Academic pressure subdues most people, and due to that, they opt for fast foods that mainly offer sweet beverages that increase the chances of an individual getting obese by about 81 percent. Such individuals rarely pay attention to their diets because they have not been educated on the ways of eating healthy. The article “Healthy Eating for Weight Management” is resourceful based on the manner in which it presents the issue of healthy eating in relationship to obesity. Lunau’s article “Death by sugar” also presents the same concept of healthy eating by giving an example of excess sugar that leads to overweight, which simply refers to obesity.
Hales and Lauzon (2015) state that obesity rates in the world have increased since 1980 with close to about 1.5 billion adults becoming obese during this period. Based on the results from Statistics Canada released in 2012, 18 percent of Canadians suffer from obesity. The obesity rates for men remained the same while that for women increased from 16 % to 18% in 2012. From the general report, more women were obese compared to men, and this led to people questioning what causes obesity. From Lunau’s article “Death by sugar,” overweight has a relationship with sugar intake; however, Hales and Lauzon (2015) point to some factors that lead to obesity such as hunger, intake of many fast foods, passive entertainment and physical inactivity.
The factors narrow down to the prenatal and developmental factors of an individual, and that highlights the difference between the two articles as Hales and Lauzon’s (2015) article is more detailed and provides more information on the topic. The most common cause of obesity in Canada is the consumption of more calories from sugary food substances. Obesity which simply refers to excess weight poses health dangers to a majority of Canadians. Many serious health issues and chronic infections have been linked to obesity. Based on the scientist's report, the incidences of gallstones, colon cancer, diabetes, and hypertension have increased in individuals who are obese. The risk for cardiovascular infections increases in individuals with BMIs above 25. Developing a customized weight loss plan is important for obese individuals as it helps them to reduce weight. Physical activity is a helpful approach for obese individuals as it helps in cutting weight. From the research, individuals who indulge in lots of physical activities lose weight to healthy levels. Exercise has other benefits that include the buildup of muscle tissues and stimulating the immune system. The articles are therefore similar in the manner in which they present the topic on obesity to weight management.
One of the strengths of the article entail the well-researched data and information that it provides when highlighting important factors. The article, for instance, provides the percentage of individuals who are affected by metabolic syndromes in Canada and gives a relationship to how it leads to cardiovascular diseases. The use of individuals with a reputable background in the article makes it trustworthy to the readers and the general public. The author uses Dariush Mozaffarian who is a cardiologist from Harvard school of public health to explain the concept of insulin resistance in relationship to fats in the liver. Such information is from a reputable individual who provides valid information to the people. The use of relevant pictures to pass information to the audience is an important aspect too. The usage of pictures formulates one of the ways of passing information to the people, and that ensures the audience do not easily forget as they have the picture glued to the brain. The only limitation of the article is the fact that a lack of systematic arrangement of information characterizes it.
The article was biased based on the presentation of the sweet drinks that have sugar content and lead to overweight. Throughout the article, the author mentioned Coca-cola products leading to a question as to whether products from other companies that are sugary are healthy. The facts on the topic matter were well presented with valid arguments to support them. The interpretations made by the author were consistent to the other viewpoints and had no form of contradiction. The only difference in the articles lies in the manner in which information was presented by each of the articles as one was more detailed than the other. The article solely serves the agenda of the audience who are individuals that take lots of sugary products and eventually become overweight. The author presented all the facts necessary for the article, and that implies no form of misrepresentation occurred. Further, the author focused on the health implications of taking excess sugar, and that is evident in the first paragraph in which the issue of overweight is presented in a conversation by an individual who is only 12 years old but weighs over 200 lb.
The article provided information for each of the facts it presented; however, it did not provide a topic that can be researched to understand the health issue better. The article was clear in the manner it presented the facts as they were accurate and supported by valid evidence. The fact that the author used reputable sources to channel information made the article relevant as they backed whatever information that was presented. The information provided was not detailed to the extent that an individual would find a gap for conducting further research. The facts provided by the author were fundamental for the intended audience although supported by research from organizations such as World Health Organization (WHO). The significance of the article lies on the set objective which was to educate the audience on the effects of excess sugar on the body and how they can lead a healthy lifestyle. In conclusion, the article met the set objectives as presented by the author.


Lunau, K. (2017). Death by sugar. Retrieved 27 March 2017, from
Alexander, A., & VanTine, J. (2013). The sugar smart diet: Stop cravings and lose weight while still enjoying the sweets you love!.

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