Sugar: a problem of developed countries

The contribution of sugar towards chronic disease is more relevant to developed countries than to the developing world (Nature 482, 27–29; 2012). In Asia, for example, up to 10% of the population is obese and/or diabetic (see, even though the daily energy contribution from sugar is less than 837 kilojoules per person. It is more likely that a high consumption of starch-based foods is to blame for this statistic (see

Overconsumption of foods that have a high glycaemic index (that trigger a rapid and sharp increase in blood glucose), such as wheat, potatoes and certain types of rice, also contributes to obesity and diabetes. Emphasis on sugar alone is therefore too narrow a basis for devising policies to curb these problems.

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Correspondence to Christiani Jeyakumar Henry.

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Henry, C., Ranawana, V. Sugar: a problem of developed countries. Nature 482, 471 (2012).

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