Consuming excessive amounts of sugar is as harmful as tobacco or alcohol, according to a recent study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Robert Lusting and his research team stressed that sugar should only be used in moderate proportions, and over-use is contributing to overall global obesity rates, which leads to serious conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

The research team honed in on the large amount of available evidence linking sugar to an array of health problems. They convey that sugar isn’t just “empty calories”, they are in fact able to increase ones blood pressure, change metabolism, and can even mix the signals of a persons hormones. Ironically, these same health results can be found in those who consume too much alcohol, said the researchers.

The research team also explained that the intake of sugar has tripled in the last 50 years, and is now the number one cause of the worlds obesity problem.

Dr. Charles Raison, a Psychiatrist at Emory University Medical School, explained to CNN that sugar triggers the same sensors in our brains that drugs and alcohol do, thus sometimes making it just as hard to quit.

Scientists of the study were quick to point out that 40 percent of patients with heart disease, diabetes, or cancer aren’t obese, which provides further evidence that sugar causes much more than weight gain.

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