Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


No sweet surrender

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 07 April 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:853

Rapid Response:

Sugar--Public Enemy No1.

Imre Loefler is right.Excess of sugar (sucrose)poses a serious health
risk, to counter which a global preventive campaign is surely
indicated.The object would be to reduce the consumption of all refined

There will be opposition from powerful invested interests not least
of which will be the public's "Sweet tooth". This leads me to one of the
most obvious problems--dental disease.Here, our response in the U.K. is,
sadly, to embark on a vast and expensive expansion of dental repair
services. A preventive approach seems to have been abandoned.

But, much worse is to come as the complications of obesity and
diabetes begin to take their toll.Before long, patients will begin to
demand (in addition to gastric reduction surgery and vascular
reconstruction ) renal dialysis and transplantation of the pancreas and
kidney. (Diabetes is now the commonest cause of renal failure in the
U.K.). How will our struggling N.H.S. cope then?

Unfortunately, most patients have no interest in changing their life-
styles.All they want is a tablet or an operation (however large)which will
enable them to carry on with the way of life which they enjoy.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 April 2005
Norman K Gibbon
Urologist, Rtd.
Liverpool. L37 2EY.