photographed by christy kurtz.
A new study on the effect of sugar in mice has us reconsidering the way we eat, in a serious way. As reported by the Huffington Post, mice were fed a daily diet of 25% extra sugar (which equals a healthy human diet with three added cans of soda). The results were shocking: The female mice were twice as likely to die and had fewer baby mice than those not on the extra-sugar diet. "After 32 weeks in mouse barns, 35 percent of the females fed extra sugar died, twice the 17 percent death rate for female control mice," to be specific. Did you read that? Twice as likely to die. Not twice as likely to go up a size in mice pants. Death.
Rest in peace, little mice, we hardly knew ye — but what we now know has us rethinking our entire "everything in moderation" outlook on life. If 25% extra sugar (refined sugar, not the natural fruits and veggies kind) causes these results in mice, what about our own sugar-coated intestines? Wayne Potts, the study's senior author, noted that what happened to the mice is super-relevant: "Our results provide evidence that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic adverse impacts on mammalian health." Well, yikes.
According to Potts, as much as twenty-five percent of Americans might be consuming as much sugar as the mice in the study. Think you might be one of them? Though we don't know exactly what this level of sugar does to us, now seems like a good time to start cutting back, just in case. We wouldn't want those mice to have died in vain. (Huffington Post)