Toxic sugar: fantastic video on the obesity epidemic!

Is sugar toxic and the cause of the obesity epidemic? Here’s a great new video called Toxic Sugar. It’s a recent segment from the major Australian science program Catalyst, on ABC.

It’s arguably the best 18-minute introduction ever made on the true causes of the obesity epidemic. The program features the #1 enemy of the sugar industry: professor Robert Lustig. Also appearing: science writer Gary Taubes and obesity expert professor Michael Crowley.

See it and then tell your friends. This needs to be seen by a lot of people.

Here’s a few comments:

Low fat, high sugar

Misguided low-fat advice is blamed for the increase in sugar intake. For example: low-fat mayo has six time more sugar than normal mayo. And let’s not even talk about sweetened low-fat yoghurt. “You might as well eat candy” says professor Crowley. The sugar is hiding everywhere today. Says Lustig:

…virtually every food item in the store that has a food label, it has some form of sugar!

By the way: did you have a glass of fruit juice this morning? If you did, you are aging seven times faster! Source: once more the quotable dr Lustig (I’ve no idea where he got that exact number).

Carbs -> insulin -> fat

What’s the problem with carbs? Too much bad carbs (like soda) easily leads to the secretion of too much of the hormone insulin, making your body store more fat.

Trying to control your weight – by just eating less and exercising more – in that situation will be a life-long uphill struggle. Eventually almost everybody loses.

The “set point” misconception

I have one objection towards the end of the show. Crowley claims that the body has a weight set point. Lose weight and the body will try to return to the original weight. This is a common misconception.

The truth is that the body tends to return to your original weight IF AND ONLY IF you return to your original lifestyle! There is no quick-fix that works forever.

To lose weight long-term you need a long-term lifestyle change. Avoiding excess sugar is a great first step.

Blaming the food industry

The program ends by laying the responsibility for the obesity crisis on the shoulders of the food industry.

While that may be partially true we can never expect them to solve this problem. It’s never going to happen. Read the excellent book “Salt, Sugar, Fat” and you’ll appreciate why: they simply can’t stop producing profitable junk food by themselves. If they try another company will quickly steal their market share.

The entire industry has to be forced to change.

Where to start

Here’s what you can do: See the video above and then spread it to your friends, so that they too understand. That’s a great start.

More

It’s the Insulin, Stupid

Why Calorie Counters are Confused

Yes, a Low-Carb Diet Greatly Lowers Your Insulin

What Happens If You Eat 5,800 Calories Daily on an LCHF Diet?

The Official Disease of the 2012 London Olympics!

Why Calorie Counting is an Eating Disorder

The #1 Cause of Obesity: Insulin

Fat Forecast: Disaster

1 2

73 comments

  1. FrankG
    I like the Aussi no nonsense approach to reporting. Great to see that their Dietary Guidelines are finally acknowledging this issue.. I think the tide is turning :-)
  2. Andrew
    The food industry, like the tobacco and alcohol industries, have no motivation whatever to change the way they do business. Why would a drug dealer want to stop selling you drugs when you're hooked?
    They might change the way they do business if you change the way you spend your dollars. That is the only way your vote counts.
    Reply: #37
  3. Damocles
    I dont think the food industry (supply) is to blame, but the customers (demand) have
    to take action.
    Or at least its to easy to blame the industry to sell stuff that lots of people ask for.
    If there is a marked, someone will sell on it.

    Responsible should be govenment / schools / dietary organizations to:

    - pass laws to enfoce a clear lable whats actually in the products
    (not fantasy terms that hide the ingediences or micro serving-sizes)
    - spread actually scientifically founded recommendations about nutrition.
    (based on studies wich are not paied for by the "Sugar Buro" etc)

    In the end its a change of peoples opinion on food we have to rely on.
    Thats start with documentaries like these.

    Government restriction lead mostly to bad thinks.
    (Enfoced Veggie days at public cantinas, Butter tax)

    Reply: #4
  4. FrankG
    So you don't hold the tobacco industries as responsible for their actions? They were just passively responding to market demands?

    It really baffles me that people think advertising doesn't work -- why would companies invest billion$ on it every year, if they were not convinced it was more than paying for itself in profits?

    I agree in education and getting the word out so people can "vote with their dollars" at the supermarket checkout but I also think that is going to be an uphill struggle against powerful and monied lobby groups, advertisers, marketeers, industry-sponsored "research" and yes government policies, all determined to maintain the current -- and very lucrative -- status quo.

  5. Richard David Feinman
    American food industry followed the advice of the American Heart. Why isn't Lustig fighting with AHA? Why isn't he getting them to stop demonizing saturated fat? Well, then they won't invite him to the next meeting.

    Does the ends justify the means?
    Is it okay to make up science "you down regulate the receptor in that area"

    But I would like to hear about Lustig's patients. Where is the data? If he's helped all of these kids, what's his secret and why is he running to the government to punish and tax? And if he hasn't helped them, why is he an expert?

    Just sayin'

  6. Mike M
    Richard,

    Why are you asking people here about Lustig's data? Look it up. And how can you say he has a "secret" when he tells anyone willing to listen? And why is he asking the government to get involved? Did you not watch the video? He explains why in short, easily understood sentences.

    Sheesh.

  7. Krin
    If the food industry stopped selling products with sugar in, it would be empty all but for fresh fruit an veg and meat and go bust.. of course the industry is to blame..
    And then because of our own addiction, we continue to buy..
    So we alone have to make that choice not to buy it.. and only then will the supermarkets start to fill up with good nutritional foods.
  8. Damocles
    @FrankG
    I did not talk about advertisement, but SELLING stuff.

    One is a right to trade ; the other right to (manipulate) Information.

    Of course goods with negative health impacts should not be advertised
    at -> Children. I would be for a ban on that.

    But advertising for adults is different.
    There I would only demand not to spread false information.

    But who decides what to advertise?
    The vegan health minister forcing to put a disclaimer under Meat an Butter "its bad for the Heart"
    Whilst advocating Biologically Grown Soy Milk?

  9. Richard David Feinman
    Well, maybe a little crabby this morning but one interesting thing in the film is the question of thermic effect of feeding which goes to the calorie-is-a-calorie question (inefficiency with respect to getting fat). In fact, carbohydrate, although not nearly as inefficient as protein, is generally more efficient than fat. A recent paper from Luc Tappy suggests that fructose is more inefficient than glucose, that is, inherently less fattening.

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/pdf/1743-7075-10-54.pdf

    Also, if anybody is interested,in the glycation (Maillard, or "browning" reaction) while fructose is more reactive, there is always less of it in the circulation (it is cleared rapidly and glucose is maintained at roughly constant levels). Therefore, the glycation end products are largely due to glucose. Similarly, "browning" of meat is due to glucose.

  10. Damocles
    BTW: i also think Dr. Lustig is singeling out Sugar too much, without addressing the
    general Problem of High Carb % and inflammatory Substances.

    But at least he gives Sugar a bad name, and this message is beeing picked up by the media.

    If Sugar consumption (+added Sugars) go down, it would be a big help to the public already.

  11. Damocles
    I still have that theory that there is a long term equilibrium body weight (composition)
    that related to a (long term) macro nutrient ratio.
    Adjusting up and down the body will do by hunger/appetite/or burning more.
  12. Karen
    This is the very best documentary that I have ever watched/read about. I am addicted to sugar/carbs. Thank you for putting this into layman's terms that is easy to understand!
  13. bill
    Mike M #6:

    RDF asked, "if" he has helped those children,
    what's his secret.

    Apparently, you have not read Lustig's book,
    wherein he states on page 69: "I [Lustig] gained
    45 pounds during residency, and I [Lustig] haven't
    taken them off yet."

    Again, I must point this out to you. Lustig's got
    nothing. No answers. No help. Forget it. Nada.
    He explains exactly nothing. Simple sentences or not.

    Lustig does not believe carbs are a problem.

    Sheesh.

  14. John Myers
    Lustig says he usually starts his mornings out with a bagel. Yikes.
  15. neoLITE
    "Did you have a glass of fruit juice this morning? If you did, you are aging seven times faster!"
    Wow! Does that kind of BS really work to win people over to Low Carb?...Absolutely no cred whatsoever!
  16. Richard David Feinman
    "Did you have a glass of fruit juice this morning? If you did, you are aging seven times faster!"

    I felt older just hearing that.

  17. Duncan
    He does say in this video that anything that drives up insulin levels will push up weight gain and he acknowledges the reason. "Because our consumption of dietary carbohydrates has gone through the roof". So he clearly believes carbs are a problem or , as he says in the video, "Anything that pushes up insulin levels.".
  18. Richard David Feinman
    Lustig is also an author on the definitive statement on low-carb in diabetes (except for the update that is being worked on)
    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/pdf/1743-7075-5-9.pdf

    But he's for those high fiber grains, he's for paleo. He's all over the place.

    And, he's a nice guy (unlike some of the lipophobes) and one wants to avoid ad hominem but he says some crazy things...and he's as ubiquitous as high fructose corn syrup itself.

  19. bill
    RDF said:

    "He's all over the place"

    That's the impression I got after reading his (mostly
    useless) book.

  20. John Myers
  21. FrankG
    Two steps forward and one step back...

    So Dr Lustig isn't perfect... is he driving the right message, or do you really think he is doing more harm than good? Sheesh!

    But hey we don't want to fall into the same traps that they did with the low-fat dogma.. lawd knows everything LCHF must be 100% pure and above board... right?!?

    Heck it's not like those with a vested interest in the highly profitable status quo have anything to gain by playing a bit fast and loose with the facts... no hyperbole from them and their multiple billion$ of marketing... right?!?

  22. FrankG
    Have you guys ever heard of politics? Sure in an ideal world everyone would have 100% integrity but when you have to work a flawed system from the inside, sometimes you have to pick your battles, or you are out on your ear; where you can do no good at all.
  23. robyn
    hey, This is from the Australian ABC - so proud! Gotta love good ABC reporting! Robyn
    PS: love your work Diet Doctor :)
  24. bill
    FrankG:

    More harm than good? Don't know. But his book
    won't be out in the reception area for the patients
    in our office. He's NOT advocating LCHF in the least.

    We've already had the conversation here about more
    gov't regulation. He advocates more. Fat tax anyone?

    He can't reduce his own weight and he writes a
    purported diet book? Wha?

    He has said he starts the day with a bagel. Do
    you think that's helpful?

    Here on the interwebs we can call a spade a spade.

    Reply: #25
  25. FrankG
    So did you actually watch the video that is the subject of this blog post, or are you so blindsided by your need to discredit Dr Lustig that you can't see the positives here?

    What do you see as the take away message for folks who watch this?

    But hey let's promote LCHF by dissing anyone who tries to even nudge folks perception in the right direction but is imperfect?!?

    Sure let's call a spade a spade.. are you helping to promote LCHF with your negativity? This blog post was not about Dr Lustig or his book.

  26. bill
    Dr Eenfeldt criticized this video for other reasons.
    Why don't you slam him for his 'negativity'?

    I'm just saying that Lustig is against the idea of
    LCHF. Don't you understand that? Have you
    read his book?

    The take away is that someone might follow up
    by getting his book which will give them what
    useful info?

  27. Steve L
    "Here’s a great new Australian TV-program called Toxic Sugar."

    The program is actually a weekly science program called 'Catalyst on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV. - paid for by Australian taxpayers. If it or similar was on commercial channels...well, maybe it wouldn't be if food advertisers had their way - the message would have been dumbed down even more....(in my opinion anyway)

    Toxic Sugar was one segment in the program recently (the other segment on the same night was about fluoridation of water).

    I may not have agreed with all the detail in Toxic Sugar, but I was excited that this sort of thing was aired and was clear and punchy, even if in a slightly populist way at times.

    The three main experts interviewed -Lustig, Taubes, Crowley - had slightly different views, but the main thrust was pretty good, and refreshingly different from the usual (often) junk health advice we get in the media

    I must say I have grave reservations about governments (aiming at) controlling food intake via taxes or legislation (the Danish fat laws come to mind), even if such moves had a sound basis in good/current science.

    But...it is a very difficult area....

    Steve L (Australia)

    Reply: #34
  28. Jenn
    I agree that yes, Lustig has his flaws, however he is on the right path where we know added sugar is a big problem. Eating fruit now and then is good, but juicing it is bad. I disbelieve the 'ageing 7 years' comment he made, as it's an inflammatory statement; however the overall message is one we should listen to. My own personal journey through eliminating wheat and manufactured and processed carbohydrates, and eating real food like meats and vegetables has really turned the tide for me. Despite eating massive amounts of saturated fat ('massive' in the eyes of the Heart Foundation,) and lots of fatty cuts of meat, and cutting out 'healthy wholegrains', I have managed to lower my so-called 'bad' cholesterol, increase the good, as well as control my PCOS, lose 40kg (and still more), and finally get pregnant after over a decade of trying. That's right, a decade. So, yes, sugar is a HUGE culprit. After seeing my results, a few of my friends have tried the same, and though their metabolisms and lifestyles are vastly different than mine, their results echo mine - healthier, more energy, fantastic weight loss, and overall much happier in themselves. Those who are arguing that LC is bull, there is plenty of science (yes, RCTs,) to back up the claim that it is a good way to go, and has long term success. I won't bother linking here as there's too many to do so, and I'm sure you can use a search engine to find them, or go to PubMed. Doc himself has linked many, which you can find through this blog as well.

    TL;DR - Arguing over the finer points and picking at each other at the moment is tantamount to kicking ourselves. The science will come shedding further light on the finer details, but what's important right now is getting the message out there to stop demonizing fat, to bring more awareness of sugar and food additives including wheat and 'healthy wholegrains'. (Far more eloquently than me, Mark Sisson has a good breakdown here that talks about grains: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-grains-are-unhealthy).

    Reply: #61
  29. Lusting over Sugar
    Ha ha Lustig, the pin up boy for the anti-sugar movement, claiming it causes obesity...yet is overweight himself!

    Hate to throw in a dissenting opinion into the echo chamber, but can none of you see the irony or deeply flawed logic in this? If it's sugar that causes you to get fat, and Lustig consumes no sugar, then surely he is the epitome of leanness? Right? Or maybe, just maybe, there are other factors at play...

    Do any of you who think Lustig is right actually step back and take a look from an objective perspective?

    FrankG, yes, he is doing more harm than good, because his message is based on poor and discredited science.

    To the content of the blog post: Carbs -> insulin -> fat - this is from a doctor? Are you actually serious? You're getting your science "facts" from where exactly? Gary Taubes I suppose. What a joke. Time to do some research of your own.

    Reply: #33
  30. Christoph Dollis
    Hear hear, Lusting over Sugar.

    I agree with Robb Wolf and Chris Masterjohn's take — while there are many causes of insulin resistance and related syndromes, it boils down to the body's attempt to protect the mitochondria from excess oxidative stress and thus cell death. The most common, but by no means only, cause of this is over-ingestion of food: Calories, in essence (and no, all calories are not identical, but still they all matter).

    Low-carb, especially cyclically, can be a useful intervention to reduce appetite and excess energy consumption. In this it can be extremely useful.

    For some medical conditions, it's lifesaving and life-enhancing.

    However excess carb consumption nor sugar consumptions aren't the only reasons for the obesity epidemic. They are players, but there have been many lean high-carb consuming populations.

    Very-low-carb is more of an intervention than an explanation.

    Reply: #32
  31. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor

    However excess carb consumption nor sugar consumptions aren't the only reasons for the obesity epidemic. They are players, but there have been many lean high-carb consuming populations.

    There's been ZERO lean populations eating unlimited amounts of processed food loaded with refined sugar and starches.

    Why has some populations stayed lean consuming a high percentage of unprocessed high-fiber and low-sugar carbs? Here's why:
    http://www.dietdoctor.com/why-are-asian-rice-eaters-thin

  32. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor

    To the content of the blog post: Carbs -> insulin -> fat - this is from a doctor? Are you actually serious? You're getting your science "facts" from where exactly? Gary Taubes I suppose. What a joke. Time to do some research of your own.

    I'm quite serious. And there's no need for me to reinvent the wheel:
    http://www.dietdoctor.com/category/weight-loss/insulin

    Reply: #43
  33. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor

    The program is actually a weekly science program called 'Catalyst on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV. - paid for by Australian taxpayers....

    Thanks, I updated the post.

  34. Simon Shorrock
    When I watch these videos I like to take look at the people presenting their facts. Gary Taubes aside the other medical professionals aren't exactly practicing what they preach. If they believe so strongly in what they're promoting surely they should look slimmer?
  35. Murray
    This video is a product of journalism. Anything I have been involved in where I had inside knowledge of the facts, the media coverage typically gets only half the facts right. A very good article will get 80-90% right. Journalists are typically not well educated and go for a "story" which means they distort according to their political agenda, they write propaganda. That is their stock in trade.

    This film is a good example of propaganda. But big food, big pharma and big government are running a propaganda war and only propaganda will counteract it. Decades of obvious clinical results made no dent. So when Dr.Lustig says a glass of juice makes you age seven times faster, this sticks with people. It makes a difference. Citing 15 random control trials will not make a hoot of difference. Is this unethical. Well, it is a half truth. I expect that for the brief time that blood sugar soars after drinking a glass of juice the rate of glycation is seven times higher, but normally the blood sugar normalizes, so it is misleading because the typical listener interprets the statement to connote a much longer period of accelerated aging. So, call it a noble half-lie. This is what to expect once journalists get involved.

    Reply: #38
  36. PhilT

    The food industry, like the tobacco and alcohol industries, have no motivation whatever to change the way they do business.

    On the other hand Tate & Lyle invented sucralose (Splenda) and British Sugar has introduced Truvia products, so I would suggest that the sugar industry responds to the market as one would expect.

    Reply: #41
  37. NS
    Indeed, a "half truth." The video is full of half truths. And to borrow from the expression, half truths are far more insidious than whole lies. Lustig's melodramatism is not only silly, intellectually dishonest, and factually incorrect, it is highly immoral coming from someone in a position of his authority.

    Chrisopher is right. Sugar, fructose, HFCS, are players, just some of the players, in this epidemic. Others are sedentary lifestyles, stealth viral and bacterial infections not yet entirely recognized/visible by current scientific technology, gut dysbiosis, and, yes, calorie overconsumption. There are plenty of people who fail or even gain weight on LCHF. Some of them have posted on this very blog of their struggles. Perhaps someday people will care to hear them. And Taubes' quip that exercise only results in increased hunger is not only largely inaccurate, it is repugnant.

  38. Richard David Feinman
    The discussion that defends the video thinks that half-truths and propaganda are needed to convince the masses who are confused by real science and, in addition, it is what's needed to combat the propaganda from the food companies who are the main villain. What is wrong with this approach is that :
    1. It is disdainful of the people who you want to convince (and who may be quite intelligent if not experienced with the question), and
    2. If you think that Gary Taubes and Rob Lustig can compete with big food companies in the field of advertising and propaganda, well, you are at least underestimating the villain.
    If it is the way we think it is, then science is on our side and those of us who teach science think it is tough but that seems like the field you want to fight on. You fight on their turf, be prepared for the worst. IMHO
    Reply: #40
  39. FrankG
    Exactly how much editorial control do you think that Gary Taubes and Dr Lustig had in the making of this documentary? Are you suggesting it would have been better had they said nothing and refused to appear? That instead they busy themselves with the peer-reviewed science and let the results of that speak for itself?
    Reply: #42
  40. robert
    Re: industry's (responsible???) reaction to market changes

    Selling truly artificial (man-made down to the last atom) sweeteners... And what will they do to the body? Nobody friggin' knows!

    That doesn't sound like someone who's interested in customer health, but like someone who just wants to keep his sales up. No matter what the long-term effects might be.

    I say to hell with all that crap!

  41. Richard David Feinman
    I don't think either of them would say that their positions were misrepresented.

    Bottom line: your patient (friend, relative) has metabolic syndrome. Would you advise:

    1. Cut out sugar but you can still have healthy whole grain fiber (and not too much saturated fat)
    2. Cut down on carbs and don't worry about saturated fat.

    To decide, you might want to ask how many studies there are supporting each.

    Reply: #44
  42. Paul
    Doc, this "Lusting over Sugar" troll pops-up under different names, I recognize his writing style, just ignore him.
  43. FrankG
    Why is that the "bottom line"? Is this the position offered by either Gary Taubes or Dr Lustig in the video? I'll have to watch it again (that would make it three times) but I don't recall either of them really recommending how much saturated fat we should or should not eat?

    So far as I am concerned I think a great many health issues could be improved to a greater or lesser extent if many people did simply cut back on obvious sugar sources such as soda, breakfast cereal and fruit juices. Even without making other changes.

    One step at a time eh?

    My point was not that they were misrepresented but I doubt very much that we have the full story, the full context, or even the full explanations that they gave for their statements.. much of that is probably on the "cutting room floor".

    My question to you -- which you have not yet answered -- was whether the health of me (and my metabolic friend) would have been better served had they said NOTHING, or whether you think there was ANY positive message to be taken from this broadcast -- even accepting the limitations/imperfections of such a short TV presentation... if only to give some folks pause for thought?

    I have a great deal of respect for you and have appreciated reading your blog in the past but I am getting leery of your position here. Earlier you twisted what was being said as if I were suggesting we tell half-truths/lies "to convince the masses who are confused by real science". Who suggested that? Where?

    I don't actually assume that the vast majority of folks who would watch a video such as this are idiots or morons -- I firmly believe that if you expect an higher standard of folks then that is what you get in return. So I find your assumption at best misleading and at worst downright insulting.

    Reply: #45
  44. Richard David Feinman
    Well, we're fundamentally on the same side but I don't know if this does more good than harm. If the science is not accurate then it's a crap shoot. We have a lot of experience at one step at a time -- was low-GI good or bad? Well, it should have been good since it was based on the same principle as low carb but in the end has been turned against us. The danger in Lustig's message is that because low-fat is such a minor part of the message, it is very possible that people will take away the message that they need to cut out sugar and keep eating low-fat. So, in the end you can say that I am naive to think the science is going to be accurate and that this is not a scientific message. And it may be that it is a political problem and that I don't know any more than you do about whether it will have positive or negative consequences, but if you are going to be mature and reasonable, I will drop out of the discussion altogether.
  45. FrankG
    OK.. just watched it again (third time) and would highly recommend that all the naysayers do the same -- or at least watch it for the first time -- AND please try to leave aside your preconceptions. Imagine for a moment that you are NOT savvy about LCHF and you still currently believe that fat is public enemy number one. What is your overall impression of this video?

    Yes I can nitpick some points.. does that really detract from the whole? Do you blindly believe everything you are told on the TV these days anyway? What if it just makes a few people stop to think and maybe ask more questions?

    Yes I have read Dr Lustig's book and yes I agree that he can seem to be all over the place. I could be wrong but my suspicion is that he is walking a political tightrope: trying to maintain his job security, his "mainstream" credibility and yes even his public profile; while also trying to say the right things to help our health. BUT if you listen carefully in this video I understand him to specifically advocate in favour of low carb eating.

    --

    And Paul.. yes I agree about the "punny" pseudonym "Lusting over Sugar" hahahah ((yawn))
    As soon as I read the name (let alone the comments) I was thinking Carb-Insane AKA Evil-Lyn... who really ought to be the last to say anything about judging folks credibility by their appearance.

    ---

    I just saw your latest reply RDF and would also urge you to watch it again, There is significant emphasis on how low-fat was the wrong message -- especially from the third guest,

  46. Van Dammage
    lustig makes alot of good points, but hes too fructose mad. and his toughguy personality gets on my nerves. the dude needs to take that aggressiveness and aim in at the industries. then go on a low carb diet and drop the chubs.
  47. Murray
    I don't think people in general are going to get the science. A tweet is about the complexity of message that can be handled these days. Those interested in science might have more attention span for the rantings of diet nerds like us. But as an example, another lawyer in my firm the other day came up and said she heard I knew a lot about diet and nutrition and was interested what I did. I said basically I cut back and changed the types of carbohydrates I ate. "Oh. ... What are carbohydrates?" An average person does not have seven years of university education, so I don't expect much of the LCHF science in precise detail with every nuance and qualification will have much influence beyond the diet and nutrition obsessed.

    So when I see kids of friends poisoning themselves with several cokes a day, I am blunt. I would rather my kids smoke a cigarette than drink a can of coke. Which is worse for risk? Not sure. But I am sticking to the line because even though the science is debatable and will likely not get resolved one way or the other in our lifetimes, it got their kids to drink less coke in their lifetime, rather than dying of poison in the fifth Act like Hamlet, having waited for scientific certainty before taking action.

  48. Richard David Feinman
    There are a lot of things in science that we know for sure. Cigarettes are an established risk with high mortality rate. The role of sugar in life is not established at all. If you think it would be better for you kids to smoke than eat sugar, you need to make the effort to find out why no scientist, no physician, nobody would say that is appropriate.
    Reply: #50
  49. Murray
    Well, my mother has smoked more than a pack a day for over 50 years and is still going strong gardening with over 300 varieties of roses in her garden. (Obsession runs in the family.) I expect she could handle a few cokes a day as well.

    The idea of the moral/health equivalence of a coke and a cigarette came to me after seeing commentary on this study on the dose dependence of sugar and diabetes.
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.00...

    There may have been another one, but that is the one I found again on a quick search. A comment was that the correlation was as strong as the evidence against cigarettes in the 1960s. That got me thinking. Then there is the evidence against sugar concerning cognitive decline, cancer and heart disease. So we are likely in those early stages of identifying acellular sugar as a serious health risk.

    Whether or not a physician would make the equivalence is not a concern. Physicians in general have been unreliable (with exceptions, of course). My kids make the coke-cigarette equivalence and so they do not drink any coke. (They don't smoke either.) I can't see how they could be worse off for it. My kids are lithe, energetic, without cavities and have not required braces. My son has absolutely perfect occlusion and was the only kid in his grade that has not required braces. I read Weston Price's book while he was breast feeding. Too late for my daughter to have perfect occlusion but she has not required braces. She drank juice for a time before I read Price on sugar, starch and occlusion, etc.

    So perhaps the equivalence is misplaced, perhaps not. My kids have not suffered for it. It has enhanced their interest in and understanding of science. My daughter is studying biomedical engineering and doing extremely well. She is strong in classics as well. I suppose her interest in Rome over Greece parallels her preference to engineering over pure science. I wager that was the problem with the McGovern committee--they went straight from incomplete science to politics, skipping the engineers. The Romans were exquisite engineers. They even figured out to walk five Roman miles (about 50 minutes of walking) after large meals, to ease the burden on the liver. I haven't found out how they figured that out. Mind you, it took until the middle of the 19th century to reengineer Roman techniques for making concrete. Seems we still have some catching up to do.

    Reply: #51
1 2

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by

Older posts