The truth about the Australian sugar paradox

Sugar paradox

Is there an Australian sugar paradox? Did Australians – alone in the world – have an obesity epidemic while eating less sugar?

This is something that two Australian researchers have claimed. But as this great documentary tells us, that claim is highly doubtful. Australians are probably not unique in the world in their tolerance to sugar.

Instead the explanation to the researchers’ imaginative use of statistics is likely more mundane. Incompetence… or money… or both. Here’s the truth about the Australian sugar paradox.

ABC: Analysing the Australian Paradox: Experts Speak out About the Role of Sugar in Our Diets


The Food Revolution 2016 Update – with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt


The New Gary Taubes Book: The Case Against Sugar

Let’s Stop Pretending That Juice is Better Than Soda


  1. Linda
    It seems worse when the charlatans are from your own country! What a hide they have. Nice expose by the esteemed Lateline team here in australia.

    Thanks for all your wonderful teachings, insights and bringing the broad LCHF community around the world together.

    I just watched the Cate Shanahan video ... it's amazing how much we don't understand about some terms that we toss around lightly, like 'antioxidant'. I learned such a lot about how oxidation occurs and why it'd do dangerous that I'd never understood and it was a great explanation of why not to use bad vege oils. Understanding goes a long way towards staying compliant!

    Fasting today, but looking forward to my lovely Friday night LCHF dinner in a few hours!!


  2. PhilT
    Not sure about this. While the Australian study / statistics were flawed there's plenty of other sugar industry output data flying around from which one can see the per capita consumption of granulated sugar in developed nations has been static or declining for 30+ years.

    The sugar industry is highly regulated (esp in the EU) and the numbers are easy to access.

    If you want a consumption line to mirror the obesity line since 1960 then try poultry meat consumption, because per capita sugar consumption doesn't correlate well at all.

    Reply: #3
  3. tony
    Granulated sugar is only one element of the equation. You need to include HFCS which is not only in many sweet drinks, it is added to all processed foods from fast foods to grocery market items. You also need to include fructose from fruits, honey, maple syrup, etc.

    If it tastes sweet, spit out!

  4. PhilT
    Very little HFCS in Australia. Not everywhere is the US you know :-)

    Reply: #5
  5. tony
    Dude, read the above mentioned article. A cursory glance of the author's own chart sugar-sweetened beverages, revealed sales were up 30 per cent, not down 10 per cent as is claimed in the paper.

    Data comes from a combination of three self-reporting health surveys which are totally unreliable. As per the article, "there's a bias in how people recall the foods that they eat. And it shows that people overestimate the foods that they believe they should be eating more of and underestimate the foods that they shouldn't be eating."

    Three of the four health survey charts, produced by Professor Jennie Brand-Miller and Alan Barclay to show adult sugar consumption, again trend up - not down: consumption of total sugars, confectionery and non-alcoholic drinks.

    The only one that points down - sugary products - refers to the sugar put in tea and coffee, as well as jams, syrups and honey. Products with the most sugar added, like biscuits, cakes and flavored milks, are not specifically measured in the 'Australian Paradox' paper.

    The article also illustrates all kinds of data chicanery pulled by the pseudo-scientists shills of the Beverage Council, trying to bamboozle the government into not implementing a sugar tax.

    Reply: #6
  6. Apicius
    Tony, I agree with your argument. Sugars and farinaceous ingredients are so ubiquitous. They are present in many foods today, and especially prepared or ready-to-eat foods. Dismissing baked goods, packaged foods, fruit juices, modern sweets, etc, is a horrific mistake. Add the "fat free" fiasco to the mix and the result is a modern-day epidemic. Where does low fat sweetened yogurt enter into the study? What about displacing fizzy drinks with fruit juices? Lots of big gaping holes I say.

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