In celebration of Halloween, John Oliver takes on the $22 billion American sugar industry, which is helping to make us all fat and unhealthy.

“Is it really fair to describe sugar as a treat, considering how much we eat it all year round?” he asks, going on to say, “We have no idea how prevalent sugar is in almost everything we eat.”

Oliver says we aren’t even conscious of how much sugar we’re consuming, before giving a harrowing statistic:

The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day


This adds up to 75 pounds a year. It’s packed into almost everything we eat and drink—even Clamato juice (one serving has 11g of sugar).

And according to the sugar industry, which capitalizes on our genetically-programmed love (even addiction) of the stuff, that’s totally fine for our health.

The American Sugar Association claims that there’s no real link between sugar and obesity or diabetes—despite all warnings from the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association.

Such propaganda is conveniently supported by scientists like James R. Rippe of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute, whose ties with the Corn Refiners Association were once as significant as a retainer of $41,000/month. Ugh.

Oliver then points out that the FDA’s measurement of sugar is in grams instead of teaspoons. “No one understands the metric system,” he says. Think that’s a coincidence? Can you say #SugarIlluminati?

In typical John Oliver fashion, he concludes the segment with a demand that the FDA and product manufacturers start using a unit of sugar measurement we understand: circus peanuts. He advocates the hashtag “#ShowUsYourPeanuts“to demand food manufacturers disclose the amount of added sugar in their products, explaining:

“If you’re going to shove your peanuts in our mouths, the very least you could do is tell us what we’re swallowing.”

Just something to think about before you shove, like, 20 Snickers down your gullet this Halloween.

[via Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Washington Post]

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