People who write about sugar and diabetes still miss the point about Metabolic Disease.

Here is a great article in the New York Times. The author makes out the contemporary case that sugar consumption, either as sucrose or high fructose corn syrup, is causing the diabetes epidemic.

But then there was this set of paragraphs:

Just as the tobacco industry disputed the link between smoking and lung cancer for many years, claiming the evidence was circumstantial and did not prove cause and effect, the American Beverage Association says that there is no proof that sugary beverages are major players in obesity and diabetes.

But why wait decades for conclusive evidence, by which time millions will have been sickened or died from obesity? If there were an environmental threat with even a fraction of the health risk posed by sugary drinks, there would surely be a large public protest.

[Emphasis added.]

As Dr. Robert Lustig (“Sugar: the Bitter Truth” viral vid) has been pointing out, obesity does not cause diabetes. Obesity is a “marker” that suggests that diabetes is (or will be) present. About 80% of obese people will come down with metabolic disease (which diabetes is one aspect of). But 40% of non-obese people will also get metabolic disease.

Discussing why non-obese people get the metabolic disease is where the public discussion has to lead. Practically everyone knows that sugar—>obesity, and then obesity—->diabetes. But not very many know that obesity is by no means a required step.