The Bitter Truth About Sugar – an insurance industry perspective

Well, isn’t THIS just the most interesting thing you’ve read in a while. This is Bob Reville, CEO of data analyst Praedicat – they specialise in casualty risk. You can read the full article HERE. It’s most interesting, and pretty short.

Finally, our No. 1 that we’re concerned about is the potential for there to be a government-driven sugar litigation. The local governments have been the largest driver in the United States of things like trying to reduce supersizing or the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in schools.

If they were to instead pursue that as a government litigation, you could easily have tens of billions of dollars of damages sought by these governments to cover the health care expenses of obesity, which incidentally, according to the CDC, results in over 100,000 deaths per year in the United States.

This would also be an almost entirely insurance-covered litigation, if the bodily injury were found to be covered by insurance and covered on the occurrence form as well. It could be a very large insurance footprint, indeed.

Would they have to prove some sort of blame? For opioids, there’s an attempt to prove that they knew that people would get into trouble, being prescribed opioids. Would that same situation arise with sugar?

I think, in sugar, first of all, there has been a lot of bad press lately about the fact that sugar manufacturers, the sugar industry, was involved in trying to shape the public perception in the United States that it was fat that was driving the obesity crisis.

In fact, it was the sugar the whole time. The argument is that they knew. Whether that would actually be what was found in the litigation would obviously have to play out in the litigation. There also is a lot of science these days around the idea that sugar may be addictive.

Interestingly, if you were to look at the scientific literature and do a query that looks for sugar and obesity—if you did it 10 years ago, and also added to the query addiction, you’d find that there were no hits. If you did that today, it’s about 25%. Scientists are investigating that not only is obesity caused by sugar, but it also might be addictive. Then there may be manipulating of ingredients to cause people to want to consume more of the sugar products. All of that really makes it convincing as a potential next tobacco. There also is a next tobacco, and that is opioids. The next question is what’s next after opioids? That’s why we’d say sugar is the next opioids.

The Bitter Truth About Sugar

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