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Napoleon Helped Drive Obesity Epidemic



“Thanks to Napoleon flooding the market with affordable sugar, we now have an epidemic of obesity and diabetes.” ­

—@SmithsonianMag, the Twitter handle of the Smithsonian Institution’s official publication, in a Tuesday tweet. The magazine linked to this fascinating blog post that discussed how when the British blocked sugar — then a commodity of the rich — from reaching France, French scientists figured out an affordable way to produce sugar from sugar beet. French leader Napoleon Bonaparte was so impressed he ordered 32,000 hectares of beet to be planted.