Dinner Dictators: Should Doctors Be Able To Regulate Our Food Choices?

The recent labeling of obesity as a disease by the American Medical Association has started a media firestorm about whether or not this labeling is accurate, and what this move means for both the treatment of obesity and diabetes, and the future of the American food and health industries.
Citing a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dr. Mark Hyman claims that obesity is primarily the result of addiction to high-glycemic sugary and/or simple-carbohydrate-based foods. Says Dr. Hyman: "We have policies and laws that protect people from alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs of abuse. Sugar and flour (and too much starchy white potatoes and white rice)...appear to be no different. In fact, some animal studies show that sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine."
Dr. Hyman claims that these findings support the theory that the American obesity epidemic is not simply the result of poor willpower — on the contrary, he believes that the 600,000 low-quality processed foods on the market in the U.S. have "hijacked our brain chemistry and biology."
To find out the degree to which sugar and high-glycemic foods are sabotaging your diet, Dr. Hyman suggests asking yourself key questions to make yourself aware of cravings, emotional eating, and feelings of fatigue or sluggishness after eating — if you answer yes to the majority of the questions, you may be the victim of a sugar addiction — and it may be time for rehab. (Huffington Post)
What do you think: Should doctors and health officials be able to decide what we eat if it's for our own good?

Photographed by Maria del Rio


More from Wellness

R29 Original Series