Sugar is one of the most common nutritional elements present in the majority of plants and many animal products. The benefits of consuming sugar include increased energy level and improved thinking capacity. However, these and other advantages are related only to natural sugars. Meanwhile, modern supermarkets offer a wide variety of products containing added sugar, which has a detrimental effect on health. The most dangerous outcomes of high sugar intake are the increased risk of obesity and tooth caries and heightened energy use required to compensate for excessive sugar consumption.
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Sugar is one of the main contributors to a variety of diseases prevailing among US citizens. Such health issues as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, dental problems, and others can develop in the organism of an individual who consumes too much sugar. Young people are particularly susceptible to excessive sugar use due to its high levels in sugar-sweetened beverages, which are popular with children and teenagers (Rosinger, Herrick, Gahche, & Park, 2017). Risks exist for all age groups and social levels, causing health deterioration of many people in the USA. Healthcare practitioners should take measures and spread information on the negative effects of high sugar consumption and the ways of reducing the risks.
1st Counter-Argument: The Increased Risk of Obesity
The first significant negative effect of high sugar consumption is the elevated likelihood of obesity. According to Stanhope (2015), elevated sugar intake leads to the “unregulated hepatic uptake and metabolism” of fructose (p. 52). As a consequence, one develops low insulin sensitivity and high uric acid levels. Furthermore, increased sugar consumption can lead to the development and prevalence of dyslipidemia, fatty liver, hyperuricemia, and insulin resistance (Stanhope, 2015). These conditions have a negative effect on body mass index, which can result in diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the increased risk of obesity, which is the first severe outcome of abusing sugar, can further trigger other serious health problems.
It is true that overconsumption of carbohydrates might be correlated with an increase in the likelihood of obesity, but the statement that sugar is only or the main reason for the given condition is faulty. In other words, sugar is one of the many sources of dietary calories, but other carbohydrates can also be the contributing factors for obesity. The latter is most likely to be the result of either genetic predispositions or overconsumption of food.
Therefore, the logical leap of correlating sugar and obesity is similar to stating that liquid beverage consumption contributes to road accident incidents. It is simply incorrect to present such a generalized claim, where we know that alcoholic beverages mostly increase the risk of car crashes. In the article, it is stated that beverages consisting of 30% Ereq sucrose or high fructose corn syrup were consumed without any significant negative effect on health (Stanhope, 2015). The study shows that the data on sugar being a primary cause of obesity is highly controversial because fructose consumption has no special adverse effect on consumers. Thus, the argument fails to encompass the bigger picture of the obesity epidemic because the most likely reason is overconsumption.
2nd Counter-Argument: The Damage to Tooth Caries
Another important fact against the excessive sugar intake if the effect on one’s dental health. According to Pitts et al. (2017), specialists in dental ecology, oral biology, and operative dentistry, tooth caries is the disease driven by sugar misuse. When a person eats or drinks too many sugary products, dental hard tissues demineralize. Tooth caries can damage the tooth crown and exposed root surfaces (Pitts et al., 2017). Since dental health issues can have a negative effect on other organs and body systems, it is crucial to eliminate the risk of the most detrimental trigger of caries – sugar.
The second argument follows a similar pattern of the previous one, where a single item is presented as a cause of the larger and complex issues. It is important to understand the fact that tooth decay and dental health are primarily caused by microorganisms and their metabolites. Caries can be caused by a wide range of carbohydrates besides sugar, such as starch (Jayadevan et al., 2019). In addition, cariogenicity can also be influenced by the frequency of food ingestions because infrequent consumption starves the bacteria (Jayadevan et al., 2019). Thus, the given argument has little merit regarding dental health, because it only states one of the many reasons for the issue as the main one. However, there is a need for stronger evidence that would put sugar either as a sole or major contributing factor for caries.
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3rd Counter-Argument: A Heightened Energy Use Required
Finally, it is necessary to note the negative effect of sugar abuse on energy. The use of added sugar is beneficial when it is kept within limits. However, as DiNicolantonio and Berger (2016) report, excessive consumption of sugar leads to detrimental changes in the organism, such as conditions associated with heart disease or obesity. To alleviate the negative impact of sugar, people should exercise intensively. Since not many sugar-lovers are ready to engage in physical activities, they should reduce their sugar intake.
The last argument can be stated to be the faultiest one due to the lack of connectedness between the statements. Both heart disease and obesity are highly complex health problems, which are caused by a multitude of factors, which may or may not include sugar. There is almost no logical link between heart disease and energy levels because it is commonly known that extremely active and energetic people can have heart problems (Skalik & Furst, 2017). Obesity was dismissed because it was discussed that it is a complex issue in previous paragraphs. On the contrary, it was stated that the consumption of sweetened beverages could lead to an increase in hyperactivity among consumers (Schwartz et al., 2015). In other words, the consumption of sugar can raise energy levels to such a degree that a consumer suffers from it.
In addition, there is a need for evidence that sugar-lovers are not willing to engage in physical activities because an active sportsperson can also like sugar. Even if the term “sugar-lover” is regarded for people with obesity and the latter assumption was true, the recommendations have no merit. Reducing sugar intake and exercising will not change the energy levels or obesity because one can completely avoid sugar and gain excess weight by consuming a lot of calories in the form of starches and fats.
Conclusion of Counter-Arguments
The risk of obesity and dental caries and the need to use energy intensively are the main negative causes of increased sugar intake. Each of these adverse effects can lead to severe health complications both in children and adults. Healthcare providers have to educate populations on the risks of elevated sugar consumption and look for solutions to the problem that is gaining more and more resonance at present.
Conclusion of Rebuttals
In conclusion, the arguments presented in the first two statements might be partially true, but it is important to understand that complex problems, such as obesity, should be analyzed by stating a multitude of factors. Therefore, no single cause or correlational component should be seen as a primary cause. The third argument possesses no merit to be regarded as fully or partially true because it fails to draw logical connections between heart problems, obesity, sugar intake, and exercise.
DiNicolantonio, J. J., & Berger, A. (2016). Added sugars drive nutrient and energy deficit in obesity: A new paradigm. Open Heart, 3(2), e000469. Web.
Jayadevan, A., Chakravarthy, D., Padmaraj, S. N., VijayaRaja, S., Bal, L., & Dimple, N. (2019). Dental caries and sugar substitutes: A review. IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences, 18(5), 13-23. Web.
Pitts, N. B., Zero, D. T., Marsh, P. D., Ekstrand, K., Weintraub, J. A., Ramos-Gomez, F., … Ismail, A. (2017). Dental caries. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 3, 17030. Web.
Rosinger, A., Herrick, K., Gahche, J., & Park, S. (2017). Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among U.S. youth, 2011–2014. NCHS Data Brief, 271. Web.
Schwartz, D. L., Gilstad-Hayden, K., Carroll-Scott, A., Grilo, S. A., McCaslin, M., Schwartz, M., & Ickovics, J. R. (2015). Energy drinks and youth self-reported hyperactivity/inattention symptoms. Academic Pediatrics, 15(3), 297-304. Web.
Skalik, R., & Furst, B. (2017). Heart failure in athletes: Pathophysiology and diagnostic management. E-Journal of Cardiology Practice, 14(35). Web.
Stanhope, K. L. (2015). Sugar consumption, metabolic disease and obesity: The state of the controversy. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 53(1), 52–67. Web.