Sugar is as dangerous as alcohol and tobacco and should be taxed and regulated, according to researchers from the University of California-San Francisco.
The scientists say sugar is a cause of some of the worst diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Their views were published in the science journal Nature Wednesday.
In the article titled, "The Toxic Truth About Sugar," the authors said that sugar consumption has tripled worldwide during the past 50 years. It now contributes to 35 million deaths a year.
"As long as the public thinks that sugar is just 'empty calories,' we have no chance in solving this," Dr. Robert Lustig said.
"There are good calories and bad calories, just as there are good fats and bad fats, good amino acids and bad amino acids, good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates," he said. "But sugar is toxic beyond its calories."
Some lawmakers have considered measures to deal with sugar, like taxes on soft drinks.
However, many analysts argue there are other causes for diseases, including a lack of physical activity.
*Originally aired on February 2, 2012.