Sugar Blues

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For the song, see Sugar Blues (song).

Sugar Blues is a book by William Dufty that was released in 1975 and became a commercial success. According to the publishers, over 1.6 million copies have been printed.[1]

In the book, Dufty makes the case that sugar is an addictive drug, that it is extremely harmful to the human body, and that the sugar industry conspires to keep Americans addicted to sugar.


The book's central argument is that consumption of refined sugar is unnatural and damaging to human health, causing major differences in physical and mental well-being. Dufty even goes so far as to suggest that eliminating refined sugar from the diet of those institutionalized for mental illness could be an effective treatment for some. The sugar industry is criticized for misrepresenting the health and safety data of its products.


Dufty's wife, Gloria Swanson, traveled the United States and helped to promote the book in 1975. John Lennon was a strong supporter of the book.[2]


Censorship analyst Heather Hendershot and historian Mark Pendergrast have criticized the book for comparing sugar to drugs and suggesting its role in a variety of illnesses including bubonic plague.[3][4]

Scientist Michael E. Oakes has also commented on the book.[5]

See also[edit]

Robert H. Lustig


Refined Sugar: The Sweetest Poison of All, William Dufty, (c) 1975, extract edited from the book Sugar Blues, first publisher Chilton Book Co., latest publisher Warner Books.

  1. ^ Sugar Blues,, accessed 23 December 2009.
  2. ^ Seaman, Frederic. The Last Days of John Lennon. Birch Lane Press. 
  3. ^ "Dufty compares sugar to opium, morphine, and heroin, and calls sugar companies "pushers". [He] blamed sugar for everything from acne and scurvy to bubonic plague." Heather Hendershot, Saturday morning censors: television regulation before the V-chip, Duke University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8223-2240-4, ISBN 978-0-8223-2240-5. pp88.
  4. ^ "William Dufty blamed most of man's ills on overindulgence in white sugar". Mark Pendergrast, For God, country and Coca-Cola: the definitive history of the great American soft drink and the company that makes it, Basic Books, 2000. ISBN 0-465-05468-4, ISBN 978-0-465-05468-8. p302
  5. ^ Michael E. Oakes, Bad foods: changing attitudes about what we eat Transaction Publishers, 2004. ISBN 0-7658-0228-7, ISBN 978-0-7658-0228-6. p101.