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John Oliver Takes on the Sugar Industry


Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver may have effectively scared his viewers out of most foods with his illustrative breakdowns on America’s typical sugar intake.

On average, Americans consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day—approximately 75 pounds a year. While researchers have linked sugar to its effects on obesity, premature aging, diabetes, and activating the brain much like cocaine, those with ties to the industry insist the evidence is inconclusive. The FDA proposed adding a new line to nutrition labels that redefine how the information is presented, as an approach in a recent study expressed calories in terms of the amount of exercise it’d take to burn off, causing a decline in soda consumption. The American Beverage Association, however, asks that sugar be presented in grams instead, as they feel teaspoons have a negative connotation.

But Oliver suggests that we use the orange circus peanuts as a new unit of measurement (…a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup has five and a half of those sugary candies). Watch him take on the sugar industry in this clip: