VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A report published in the journal Nature is calling for more regulation when it comes to sugar. Several US scientists are calling for taxation, similar to alcohol and tobacco.

Doctors from the University of California say limiting sales or setting a minimum age limit to buy sugar could decrease the amount of concerns now plaguing the health care system.

Nutritionist Stacey Melvin agrees, saying regulating what kinds of sugar children are eating is a great idea. “In Canada, we don’t tend to have a lot of hot lunch programs. The kind of foods that kids are getting in vending machines isn’t necessarily healthy.”

She adds sugar is addictive and people experience symptoms similar to drug withdrawals. “People will show signs like you would with a drug when you’re taken off sugar, things like headaches, nausea, really low energy, and depression.”

Sugar has been shown to lead to health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Countries in Europe have taken steps to penalize foods that are unhealthy; France approved taxing pop, while Denmark and Hungary tax saturated fat.

Melvin suggests eating something like fruit as a better option than processed sweets because the sugar is digested differently.