Speed Reads

John Oliver Explains

John Oliver celebrates Halloween by taking down Big Sugar

Americans will spend $2.2 billion on Halloween candy this year, John Oliver said on Sunday night's Last Week Tonight, and that's hardly a blip in the amount of sugar we consume. We all love sugar, he said, but that's partly because it affects our brain in a similar way to cocaine.

If you watch below, you'll learn that the average American eats 75 pounds of sugar a year — much of it hidden in foods — that sugar addles the brains of (at least) rats, that some researchers are on the take, that somebody is selling a "Sexy John Oliver" costume, that Oliver hates cranberries, and that he does a better impression of a rat than Al Pacino. Oliver's cause this week is to support the FDA's attempt to make food manufacturers list how much sugar they add to food — a proposal being fought tooth and nail by Big Sugar and food companies of all stripes. His cause is good; his proposed method is kind of disgusting. That's probably the point. --Peter Weber