19/09/2013 09:06 BST | Updated 19/09/2013 09:07 BST

Sugar 'Most Dangerous Drug Of Our Time' And Should Come With Health Warnings

Sugar is the 'most dangerous drug of our time', according to a senior Dutch health official, and should be treated accordingly.

Paul van der Velpen, head of Amsterdam's health service, suggests that food and drink with high-sugar content should come with health warnings.

He suggests introducing hard-hitting campaigns similar to the anti-smoking messages found on cigarette packets.


"This may seem exaggerated and far-fetched, but sugar is the most dangerous drug of this time and is easy to obtain," he said, writing on a public health website.

"Just as with smoking labels, soft drinks and sweet products should come with the warning that sugar is addictive and bad for the health."

According to The Telegraph, Mr van der Velpen cites research claiming that sugar interferes with appetite and makes people carry on eating long after they are full. He then goes on to criticise the food industry of abusing this effect to boost product sales.

"Sugar upsets that mechanism. Whoever uses sugar wants more and more, even when they are no longer hungry. Give someone eggs and he'll stop eating at any given time. Give him cookies and he eats on even though his stomach is painful," he argued.

He says that sugar is addictive and should be taxed in the same way as alcohol and cigarettes.

He also suggests its regulation in ready meals.

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