Are sugar and starch metabolically identical, thus health wise identical?
I was reading an article in the paper drawing attention to a UK health body's criticism of super market food which the supermarkets claimed was healthy, despite having 'high' levels of sugar. The article mentioned noodles which had ~38g of sugar per ~380g of noodles, which is only 10g of sugar/100g. This didn't seem to be a strong factor to criticise the supermarket food on, as as tangerines (mandarins) have 11g of sugar/100g. Other fruits have even higher proportions of sugar. Clearly I'm not suggesting that fruits are unhealthy because of sugar, or that super market noodles are healthy, but if you are going to criticise a food, picking out one factor in isolation seems pretty stupid to me.
Additionally carb rich sources like rice, pasta and potatoes have high levels of starches (typically around ~20g/100g). Bread can be up to 50g of carbs/100g.
As far as I'm aware starch and sugar are processed by the body in the same way, they are broken down into glucose and fructose and then further processed. Thus, ignoring other factors (such as any vitamins, minerals, fibre etc), eating a slice of white bread is just as healthy as eating a bowl of sugar.
Am I correct about the metabolism of sugar and starches? Or are starches broken down slower, or into different constituent parts?