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Desserts are shown at a choral banquet in Athens, Georgia, on Friday, April 29, 2016. (Photo/Casey Sykes, www.caseysykes.com)

When you look at the nutrition label for a Coco Cola can, you’ll see grams of macronutrients per serving, as well as percentage of your daily needs filled by the Coke. You’ll see that the percentages include carbs, sodium and fat, but none for the sugar. Why?

Because sugar companies such as Coke don’t want you to know the severity of their product, we purposefully aren’t told that consuming high amounts of added-sugar daily affects the body in ways similar to smoking.

A study from the Public Library of Science shows that sugar manipulates the dopamine reward system the same way that hard drugs do, causing long-term changes to the brain that reinforces sugar eating. Big Sugar companies know this, and use this tactic to keep you spending money on their products.

This continued eating has negative effects on the body. Whereas smoking affects the lungs, sugar affects the liver. According to the University of California - San Francisco, when one eats sugar, it gets sent to the liver to be processed. The body is designed to handle the naturally occurring sugar fructose found in fruit. The fiber in the fruit slows down the absorption of fructose, and the body doesn’t have a problem with it.

However, when fructose is extracted from crops such as corn, beet, or sugarcane and concentrated in liquid form, there is nothing to slow down the absorption. Overloading the liver with high amounts of fructose inevitably causes a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which purportedly 31 percent of adults have due to high sugar intake, according to the University of California.

Every building on campus has a vending machine selling sodas, candy and sweets. High-sugar foods are not necessary to the diet, according to according to The Association of UK Dietitians, but when the only readily available options on campus are laden with sugar, students are inclined to indulge in these options.

There’s a reason UGA is a non-smoking campus affects students-health. Though it’d be hard to eradicate high-sugar foods from campus, UGA should reduce the amount of sugary options available, and make more nutritious options more accessible.

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(1) comment

Thunderboltoftruth

Yes, please, by all means, save us from ourselves. We are all smart enough to gain admission to The University of Georgia, but for some reason we can't control our diets and need the nanny state to do so for us. The difference between smoking and consuming sugar is that there is no such thing as "second hand sugar." My drinking a Coke in the same room as you does not have the same result as my smoking in the same room as you. There is no comparison, and in attempting to make one you have diminished your own case.

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