Sugar shock in Oslo


I’m in Oslo, Norway, for a conference featuring professor Robert Lustig among others. Here’s the minibar in my hotel room. This is the largest pile of sweet candy that I’ve ever seen in a hotel room. Are Norwegians bigger sugar junkies than others?


  1. FrankG
    I was also just traveling for work. At the meeting sessions, some particpants brought in handfuls of left-over Halloween candy to share with the group.

    I countered with individually wrapped cheese servings, raw almonds and dark chocolate -- all were well received :-)

  2. Stefan Jørgensen
    Visiting Oslo don't forget to visit The Night Hawk they have great salads, and Oslo Kettlebell GYM not to forget.
  3. Stacy in USA
    After nearly 2 years on a LCHF diet, my only reaction to a pile of sugar is 'yuck'.

    I was a real sugar junkie previously but now can only tolerate it in very small amounts. It just doesn't taste good any longer. I'd rather eat a handful of nuts, some whole fat yogurt with berries, and some dark chocolate for a snack. Topped-off with some coffee. Yum.

  4. Kashi
    Nope, most hotel minibars include spirits. and what's a huge component spirits? Sugar!
  5. Galina L.
    Sweets are considered to be the food which makes everybody happy, unfortunately.
  6. eddy
    I don't know Doc. Maybe this requires more research. A call to each hotel chain and a request for what is stocked in the Mini Bar.

    From my experience mini bars are full of processed packaged sugar junk and sodas which can be purchased for a lot less $$$ from the corner store.

  7. Thea
    :( Which hotel is this?
  8. Nate
    I was staying in a Washington DC hotel for a three day conference and the room had a small snack tray sitting in the middle of the only table. So, I shoved the tray under the bed for the duration of my visit. I left the price list on the table so that I would not forget to pull out the tray before I left.
  9. Lari Katz
    Not appealing at all. But no doubt, they stock what sells, so someone must be eating this stuff.
    Reply: #14
  10. Chris Shaskin
    Looks like a typical Canadian lunch to me, once you translate the words on the packaging.
  11. Wade Henderson
    So what else could they offer the guests? Pork rinds, beef jerky, freeze dried bacon ?
    Replies: #12, #13
  12. Michelle
    Nuts, dark chocolate and because it's all in a mini fridge, cheese, small portions of berries with a tiny carton of double cream. I would pay for these items and wouldn't mind the higher cost.

    I do realise that the items I've listed are perishable, where as the sugar in the photo will still be edible when our sun dies. Therefore, all the foods I would rather eat will be bio-degradable, so no worry about landfill sites if they didn't get eaten.

    The waste issue is a problem, any ideas?

  13. FrankG
    Is there some reason _not_ to include pork rinds or beef jerky as options?

    I really didn't read this bog post as some serious scientific position paper, to be put under scrutiny as you and eddy seem to be implying, but rather a commentary on our society's easy acceptance of sugar and refined starches as a snack food. As has already been demonstrated, it only takes a moderate application of imagination to think outside that box. Perhaps imagination is what is lacking here.

    I am just back for a few days work travel, and while LCHF "on the road" is definitely do-able it is not always easy and requires very specific (and frequently repeated) instructions to restaurant staff (for example) and keeping to simple, recognisable food.

  14. FrankG

    Not appealing at all. But no doubt, they stock what sells, so someone must be eating this stuff.

    You are probably right but I also wonder how much of the fact that this is what hotel guests eat is because that is what is on offer? Late at night, or in the early hours, still dark outside, jet-lagged and tired... I can certainly relate to feeling the need for something to eat; even though it is not easy or convenient to go down to the local stores where (as eddy astutely pointed out) these same "foods" could be had for a fraction of the price.

    As in my earlier comment, during the day-long meetings around a table this past week, Halloween candy was certainly being eaten (altho' not by me) but as soon as I offered, what I would consider more nutritious options, these seemed to be even more readily accepted.

  15. Zepp
    Hey.. its Norway.. they are totaly sugar and bread addicts.. they dont even eat food for lunch.. they eat bread whit "brunost".. and they dont understand the question if one ask them if they want food or bread!

    And swedes that not that found of all that sugar, that byes brunost whitout any added sugar looks like hard core dieters!

    Other topings on the bread is jam and honey!

  16. Megan
    I think this is more of a comment on the fact that people expect a "snack". there was a time when we ate three times a day (or even twice) and had no need of snacks. Most of us low carbers can easily get through an entire day on little more than a huge egg and bacon breakfast. Snacking is an invention of the food industry.

    Try cheaper hotel chains - they don't even have fridges!

    Reply: #18
  17. Rustybeth
    You can request that the minibar items be removed from your room upon arrival. That's what I do. Out of sight, out of mind. No, I'm not tempted by the items, but the rest of my family are. I also pack alternative LCHF snacks and kid friendly grain free, sugar free snacks.
  18. murray
    Good point, Megan. LCHF types have little need for snacks; carb addicts do. So it makes sense to stock items that appeal to carb addicts.

    I always carry nuts and 100% chocolate when I travel. It seems good quality fats are difficult to find without searching, so I have these to complement fat-sparse meals with additional fat. I generally have good luck when I find an Italian deli-type store, as they tend to have nice cheese, olives, prepared vegetables and such.

  19. Stian
    Most product from the picture above contains more calories from FAT than from carbs. Maybe you should name the article "Fat shock in Oslo"? And ask "Are Norwegians bigger fat junkies than others?".

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