15 disturbing consequences of eating too much sugar


sugar m&m cookies dessert

Ginny / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Can you stop at one?


People have been sounding warnings about the dangers of too much sugar for a long time. As early as 1957, John Yudkin, a professor of nutrition at Queen Elizabeth College in London, began arguing that when it came to heart disease and other chronic ailments, sugar - not fat - was the primary culprit.

Yet decades ago, after a landmark study by a team of Harvard scientists pointed to fat as the primary dietary risk factor for heart disease, Yudkin's hypothesis was buried, and fat became public enemy No. 1.

Now it turns out that the sugar industry deliberately engineered that groundbreaking study, compensating the scientists for their efforts that essentially let sugar off the hook. That's the conclusion of a September 12 report in JAMA Internal Medicine, which summarized an analysis of historical industry documents.

Even before that eye-opening report, however, evidence documenting the ill effects of too much sugar has continued to pile up. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says people should cap consumption at 50 grams of sugar a day - about 4 tablespoons or a little more than a can of Coke. The World Health Organization (WHO), meanwhile, suggests no more than half that amount for best results.


Yet the average American, trained to be wary of fat, gobbles up 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. And now we can say for sure: We should never have abandoned a diet rich in healthy fats, and all that sugar we're eating instead is associated with a litany of health problems - just as Yudkin suggested all those decades ago.

Keep scrolling to see the potential consequences of eating too much sugar, according to the latest scientific research.