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Sugar MADNESS: How metabolic syndrome drives obesity and what you can do about it

Tomás Aragón, Clinical Faculty, School of Public Health | February 2, 2014

Sugar consumption, especially from sugary drinks, is the single largest and preventable contributor to the global epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and unhealthy weight gain.

Fructose is the part of “sugar” that is the culprit. Fructose in liquid form is worse! Fructose is metabolized by the liver. With repeated exposures, it causes fatty liver, high insulin, insulin resistance, excessive fat storage, and leptin resistance. We call this metabolic syndrome. Our brain is tricked into believing our body is starving. Hence, we eat more and exercise less.

It’s a complicated, but important story: Sugar MADNESS is a memory aid to learning about sugar, metabolic syndrome, and what to do about it.


Sugar overconsumption, especially from sugary drinks


  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Addictive potential of sugar
  • Disorder of fat (energy) storage


  • Nutrition
  • Environments
  • Stress reduction
  • Sleep and exercise

To view complete slide presentation go here: (not able to embed slide presentation). Alternatively, view slides below as PNG images.
















Comments to “Sugar MADNESS: How metabolic syndrome drives obesity and what you can do about it

  1. Sugar consumption, especially from sugary drinks,is the single largest and preventable contributor to the global epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and unhealthy weight gain.thanks for giving the information about the sugar diseases.I am glad.

  2. 1Total shill American Beverage Association! What a JOKE. Sugar, especially refined sugar, ie. sucralose, corn surup….. etc, which is in everything, is what is spiking insuline causing insuline resistance then to type 2 diabetes, then premature death. I was just on a cruise, and was horrified by what I saw there. It looked like a scene from Wall-E. 90% of all passengers were morbidly obese, 20% of those had canes with sores on their ankles (diabetes) and quite a few people so fat they could only get around with mobile wheelchairs!
    Thing is, I don’t blame them. They, like all peoples, have been horribly lied to and misinformed by the likes of these corporate food execs. Sugar is as addictive as cocaine! They know it. It also keeps you hungry and wanting to buy more. Then after a liftime of eating this way, I’m sure the food industry has stock in the medical industry for a return on their investement of lies because of all the metobolic disease they are causing.
    For more info on how to stay healthy, go to youtube and look up anything on ketogenic diet, paleo diets, intermitant fasting, low carb/high fat diet. You can turn your health around, and you will be amazed at how upside down the diet info is that we have been forced to believe. Good luck!

  3. Have a look at Gary Taubes’ shattering new book The Case Against Sugar. The PR, advertising and soft drink industries have been dismissing, blocking, and de-funding research that shows the clear links between sugar and diabetes (and cancer) for nearly 100 years. Anything that anyone from the soft drink industry says to defend their product is what one might courteously refer to as a shill.

  4. What is the recommended grams per day of sugar we want to strive for? I saw on a reality TV show that the women aimed for products under 13 grams per serving. Any ideas to help me make better sweet decisions?

  5. Drinking sugary drinks is an addiction, just like smoking if you ask me.
    I always prefer water, tea or natural squeezed juice over any sugary drink. Simple sugars (found in such drinks) will cause blood sugar spikes and raise blood sugar levels causing pancreas to produce more and more insulin just to balance everything back to normal. Pancreas may get damaged because of this and although not scientifically proven I am sure that consuming too much sugar will sooner or later lead to diabetes type 2 (although diabetes does not run in ones family).
    Avoid such drinks. The taste may be better than drinking water, but that is really all that there is to it.

  6. Regular soft drinks contain sugar, which only adds calories to your diet. Sugary drinks also raise insulin levels, which causes you to put on more visceral fat—fat deep inside, around the abdomen and other organs. Too much visceral fat can raise certain blood proteins, and that can lead to metabolic syndrome.
    At my search on net i find many method talking about leptin diet to control metabolic syndrome. is that it works well?

  7. Soft drinks are the #1 cause of health issues in this country. Most of the ingredients come with material safety handling precautions. The most common symptom of drinking soft drinks is obesity and diabetes causing neuropathy in the feet. A person with neuropathy will have a sheen to the skin and a lack of hair around the ankles. It often occurs before a person is diagnosed with diabetes. (I own an alternative healing company that uses magnetic jewelry for pain relief.)

  8. Who said the obesity epidemic only started after 1970? Sugar consumption had already increased by then and so did weight gain in the population funnily enough.

  9. While some critics feel compelled to jump on the bandwagon and pin America’s obesity crisis on sugar, the New York Times published a great piece that outlines why this is simply not the case.

    Actually, USDA data shows that sugar plays a relatively minor role in excess calories in the American diet since the 1970s. During the past four decades, as obesity rates climbed, the American food supply added an additional 445 calories per day. While fats, oils and starches comprised 376 (84%) of these additional calories, sugar –- from all sources -– played a relatively minor role, contributing only 34 calories (9%).

    Moreover, research has repeatedly debunked the myth that diet sodas actually contribute to weight gain by “tricking” the body into thinking it’s hungry, including this finding in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    And, a randomized clinical trial found that those who consumed diet beverages in place of caloric ones took in fewer calories than other control groups, including those who consumed only water. The same trial also showed that the consumption of diet beverages does not enhance preference for sweet foods and beverages.

    Pinning the blame on sugar for a litany of health issues is not based in science, nor is it productive. Complex health conditions are influenced by many variables, not a single food, beverage or ingredient.

    – Maureen Beach, American Beverage Association

    • You can tell Ms. Beach did not read my slides. I did not mention calories or diet soda.

      Sadly for us, the evidence continues to mount: See “Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults” in JAMA Intern Med. Published online Feb. 03, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13563

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