I was pleased to be able to talk with Marvin Scott about sugar on WPIX-TV.

I see many patients in the age-management and weight-management parts of my practice who complain about obesity. I agree with Mayor Bloomberg that obesity is the biggest health problem in America. Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, dementia and cancer and is overtaking smoking as the number one cause of preventable deaths in America.

You don’t have to be a doctor to notice that America’s waistline is expanding. In 1900 the average person consumed 90 pounds of sugar per year. Today that number has doubled. Sugar is one of the main reasons soda is unhealthy. On average, a 12 ounce serving of soda contains 10 spoonfuls of sugar.

The sugar in soft drinks helps produce obesity. The problem with excess sugar is that it upregulates metabolic pathways, such that the more sugar you eat the more sugar you crave.  When you drink a soft drink, the supersugars in that drink quickly enter your blood stream and your pancreas produces insulin which helps get the sugar into your cells for energy. When you regularly eat a lot of sugar the insulin levels in your blood become elevated. Over time, your body can become resistant to insulin and you need more of it to get the sugar into the cells.

When you have more insulin than sugar in your body, your body tells you to eat more sugar to even out the balance. But every time you eat the sugar you cause your insulin levels to go up even more, causing you to want more sugar, and on and on the cycle goes. In the meantime, you are storing all the excess sugar as fat and increasing the risk of disease.

When you understand that the consumption of sugar can give rise to a vicious cycle of reactions in your body that can cause you to become obese, hopefully you’ll reduce your intake and avoid the sugar blues.

Click here to watch the video on WPIX

Dr. Karlene ChinQuee