Archive | Science & Health

Tax on Sugary Drinks Gaining Support in the UK

A tax on sugary drinks should be introduced as part of a “bold and urgent” set of measures to tackle child obesity in England, MPs say.

BBC: Tax on sugary drinks backed by MPs


How the Sugar Industry Fooled Us 40 Years Ago

Forty years ago the sugar industry fooled us all, in a very bold way. Here’s a clip about it from the movie Sugar Coated. Watch the entire movie online here.

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Boys & Girls Club of America… or of Coca-Cola?

The University of Colorado recently made headlines with their decision to return a 1 million dollar “gift” to Coca-Cola. What hasn’t made headlines though, is that Coca-Cola turned around and gave that same gift to a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the lives of children all over America – the Boys & Girls Club of America.

The Huffingtonpost: Boys & Girls Club of America… or of Coca-Cola?

The organization works to give children a safe place to go after school, helping them with homework and letting them play sports or do other activities. That’s truly great, but they also have a longstanding partnership with Big Soda, going so far back as 1948.

Laurie David, part of the team who made the documentary Fed Up, says:

Wouldn’t it be great if the CEO of BGCA,​ ​Jim Clark, continued the trend and had the guts and integrity to hand this secondhand gift back to Coca-Cola?

…The University of Colorado’s decision to return Coca-Cola’s $1 million dollar grant was big news precisely because it’s so unheard of for an organization of any kind to do such a thing. It’s a heartening development for everyone who’s worked so long and so hard to change the awful American diet, because it’s proved that at least some institutions are capable of being shamed into doing the right thing.

Hopefully more and more organizations will follow in the University of Colorado’s footsteps, making the future of our children safer and brighter.

Considering the epidemic of childhood obesity the BGCA motto on that Coca-Cola truck of “Building the Citizens of Tomorrow” seems to have come true in an unfortunate way.

If you think BGCA should return the gift, here’s their Facebook page.

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Sugar Coated Exposes Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies

The movie Sugar Coated had its US premiere a week ago, and now I’ve had the privilege of seeing it. If you’re at all interested in the sweet little lies of Big Sugar, this is a movie for you.

Do you want to know exactly how Big Sugar’s tactics mirror the lies of Big Tobacco fifty years ago? What shameless tactics they use to keep fooling the world – everyone you know – as long as possible?

The story starts with exposed internal sugar industry documents, as described by science writer Gary Taubes a couple of years ago. And the movie ends where we stand today, with Big Sugar in the media spotlight and on the brink of disaster. It’s an interesting ride.

The only problem with the movie is we don’t get to see the end, because it hasn’t happened yet. Will Big Sugar somehow manage to keep fooling everyone?

I wouldn’t bet on it, no matter how many sleazy scientists and experts they keep buying. Their fall from power seems to be very near. And this movie will only accelerate it.

Watch it

Watch the trailer for Sugar Coated above. If you live in the USA, United Kingdom, South Africa or Australia you can watch the movie online as video on demand.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think about it? Leave a comment below.


Study: Avoiding Diet Beverages Helps Women Lose Weight

Time to switch?

Coca-Cola will HATE this new study. And it may help a lot of people who struggle with their weight.

It’s been debated for a long time: Do diet beverages, with artificial sweeteners, help or brake weight loss? They are certainly less bad than sugar-sweetened beverages, the worst thing ever. But can diet drinks still be a problem?

The jury has been out, but a just-published study clears up the confusion. It followed 62 overweight women who were trying to lose weight and who regularly drank diet beverages. Half the women were randomized to start drinking water instead, the other half continued drinking diet beverages (one small drink five days a week) for 24 weeks.

The women who switched to water lost 19.4 pounds (8.8 kilos) on average, which was 2.6 pounds more (1.2 kilos) than the diet beverage group. The extra weight loss was statistically significant.

The water group also improved their fasting insulin, signs of insulin resistance and their glucose tolerance, compared to the diet drinks group. Those are all good things for losing weight and improving health.

Who to trust?

Importantly this is the only similar study – as far as I know – that has been done with no financial ties to the beverage industry. None of the authors reported any conflict of interest whatsoever.

In contrast, studies showing that diet drinks are neutral for weight control are usually blatantly funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo etc. I leave it to you whether to trust your health and weight to Big Soda’s pet scientists.

Personally I’ll keep recommending people to avoid artificial sweeteners in order to lose weight effortlessly. I’ve updated the page How to Lose Weight with details of this new study.

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Diet Coke Helps Weight Loss More Than Water, Media Reports – Based on Coca-Cola Funded Report

Professor Peter Rogers

Professor Peter Rogers

WOW! Drinking Diet Coke is apparently, possibly, maybe BETTER than water for weight loss!

The report is based on this study, which contains no new research but summarizes the authors’ views on all earlier studies – clearly an exercise that introduces lots of subjectivity and bias.

That could be OK. Except the lead author quoted in all the media above, Professor Peter Rogers, has been funded by Sugar Nutrition UK for many years, to “research” satiety effects of sugar-containing drinks. And Sugar Nutrition UK is funded by UK sugar manufacturers. Hmmm.

And it goes on. This present study from Professor Peter Rogers and his colleagues was funded by ILSI Europe, a group funded by companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

In plain talk that means Coca-Cola money in Professor Rogers’ pocket, for services rendered.

Professor Rogers’ co-authors include one person funded by the Dutch Sugar Bureau, one funded by a sweetener company (Canderel), two employees and shareholders in companies that manufacture products containing sugars and sweeteners, and finally one employee of ILSI Europe (funded by Coca-Cola etc.).

This is perhaps the most blatantly biased “science” I’ve seen. It’s like reading marketing material for the beverage industry. Unfortunately some media has fallen for it, and the “study” will surely be cited by a lot of people who want to sell you their diet drinks.

It’s yet another example of how Coca-Cola and other beverage companies pervert the science and confuse the public, harming people, to sell more of their products. But that can be expected. What’s unfortunate is that some scientists still sell out to them.

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California Invasion: Rally to Fight Big Soda


Rory McKernan and CrossFit are rallying people to fight the soda companies in a new video on YouTube. It’s intense. And full of truth bombs.

Watch it here: Continue Reading →


Coca-Cola Losing Even More Ground

Coca-Cola keeps losing supporters in the ongoing battle against sugar and obesity. Now, the University of Colorado School of Medicine is returning 1 million dollars to the soda company.

The money was going to help fund the creation of the Global Energy Balance Network, a group that said it was aiming to end obesity, but appears to have spent more time telling people that drinking soda was OK.

WSB-TV: University returning $1M Coke contribution for health group

Looks like things are not going so well for Big Soda at the moment. Nobody with any aspiration to be taken seriously can keep taking the sugar money.

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Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Not Welcome in Leicester


Coca-Cola is trying to make children associate warm and fuzzy Christmas feelings with their addictive and obesity-causing sugar water. One step in their plan is to send a Christmas truck to 46 cities in Great Britain.

This is nothing new. What’s new is the icy headwinds facing the soda industry.

A member of parliament from Leicester is publicly asking Coca-Cola not to bring the truck to his city, and threatens protests if they do. MP Keith Vaz says the truck will send the wrong message in a city with rising diabetes problems (he has diabetes type 2 himself) and where a third of kids have tooth decay.

BBC: Leicester MP Keith Vaz urges Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour to avoid city

Obviously Keith Vaz gets criticized for this bold move. Some of the criticism likely comes from Coca-Cola’s many paid cronies, and some is in the form of well-meaning objections from everything-goes libertarians. And some of it is surely from sugar-addicted parents.

Personally I think there should be protests everywhere the Coca-Cola sugar truck goes. Christmas is not about getting kids addicted to unhealthy drinks, and Coca-Cola should be called out when they try to use Christmas to hook kids on their sugar. Just like we would call out Phillip Morris if they used a Christmas truck, with smoking Santas handing out cigarrettes to kids.


How One of the Most Obese Countries on Earth Took on the Soda Giants


Almost a year after Mexico introduced a tax on sugary drinks, other countries look to Mexico to see the effects of the law, and several have already followed suit (including Chile and Barbados).

The road to a tax on soda was long and winding. A fight between the soda companies and the government headed by President Enrique Peña Nieto, which still goes on today. Here’s an interesting – and very long – article on it:

The Guardian: How One of the Most Obese Countries on Earth Took On the Soda Giants

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