It is a well-known fact that the consumption of sugar has skyrocketed over the last decades. There is a reason for its enormous rise in popularity – it is addictive and sweet tasting. Yet, at the same time, this product is the cause of an alarming public health issue. Understanding what makes sugar so dangerous is essential in ascertaining the ways to minimize the risk from sugar consumption.
First, sugar is an umbrella term for a number of soluble carbohydrates. It is important to understand because once the sugar is consumed, it is extremely quickly digested. Not only does it produce energy soon, but it also quickly finishes. This is why people want to eat and drink more sugar-rich products. Beyond a certain point, the excess of carbohydrates precipitates serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, ranging from obesity to Type 2 Diabetes (Stanhope, 2016). Therefore, sweetened foods should at least be approached with caution.
Second, sugar produces acid, which can damage teeth when consumed frequently. The reason for this is that the human mouth contains bacteria. They interact with sugar and saliva, which produce acid (Kamal et al., 2020). The resulting substance remains on teeth, slowly degenerating them. Subsequently, the more sugar-rich products, such as chocolate, Coke, cakes, burgers a person eats, the more acid is produced, which leads to tooth decay.
Third, it is important to realize that the molecules comprising sugar are not dangerous themselves. The problem arises from the uncontrolled consumption of highly-sweetened products (Stanhope, 2016). The subsequent recommendation is to understand what need sugar fulfills. If possible, it ought to be supplanted with other sources of calories, which satisfy the need for taste, such as fruits. Another way would be to minimize the conscious addition of sugar into food and drinks. This way, it would be possible to receive sustenance with a lesser risk of health deterioration.
Altogether, it should be evident that it is impossible to avoid sugar entirely. It is a natural carbohydrate found in many foods. Neither should it be abandoned because it does produce the energy that the organism needs. However, excessive consumption can lead to serious health complications, which may damage it and bring life-long problems, which are not exclusive to dental hygiene. Therefore, while sugar is not dangerous in itself, there is a reason for why it is called “The White Death”.
Kamal, Y., O’Toole, S., & Bernabé, E. (2020). Obesity and tooth wear among American adults: the role of sugar-sweetened acidic drinks. Clinical Oral Investigations, 24(4), 1379-1385. Web.
Stanhope, K. L. (2016). Sugar consumption, metabolic disease and obesity: The state of the controversy. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 53(1), 52-67. Web.