Have you seen any of the recent TV shows on sugar? It’s about time this information finally surfaced! The sugar industry is big bucks and while most of us are probably aware that it contains empty calories, did you know that our body reacts to it like its a drug? Ever noticed how sometimes you just cant stop eating it?
I watch my kids when we go somewhere that serves them sugar – jelly or fruit juice etc and they firstly resemble drug-addicts; unable to get enough of the ‘good stuff’. They then become hyperactive and irrational for 20 mins. This is followed by, for me, the scariest part of the sugar-drug-rush and its the sugar-stupor. They cant think, they are grumpy and generally need a sleep at inopportune times. The sugar-stupor isn’t limited to our kids and some believe its not an acute symptom but a long-term real social and physical problem.
Back to The Bliss Point…the perfect marriage of fat, salt and sugar. The point at which the texture or mouth-feel is soft and buttery, the flavour is intense without being overpowering and the feelgood factor exists. The bliss point is individual and is an acquired taste however it is also cultural and generic to a point. The more sugar you eat, the more you will want to eat as the less other food tastes good. Recently I tried removing salt from my diet and now the tiniest bit of salt is too tasty for me. It works the same way for sugar.
Robert Lustig believes that sugar is the cause of diabetes. His talk on sugar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM is well worth watching; I have watched it 3 times and get something new every time. High fructose (fruit sugar) corn syrup is used in soft drinks, soups, processed foods and has been studied as a contributor to heart disease markers eg trigylcerides, cholesterol etc. When testing for the markers of heart disease one common theme, or associated risk, is an increases in visceral adiposity – the fat surrounding the liver, kidneys, bowel. When healthy students were given a high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) drink for 2 weeks all of their cardiovascular disease risk factors increased.
At the 1999 get together of top food industry executives they received a presentation on ‘Responding to the challenge of childhood obesity’. This presentation told these execs that the environment that encourages obesity is the “Ubiquity of inexpensive, good-tasting, super-sized, energy-dense foods.” They scoffed at this theory. In 1972, when British scientist John Yudkin first proved that sugar was bad for our health, he was ignored by the majority of the medical profession and rubbished by the food industry. The scientist Ansel Keys was a major player in debunking Yudkin. Ansel Keys later debunked his own research on fats.
Will the food industry be next?
Stan Lance, who published secret tobacco documents says that “strategies that the tobacco companies used were being used much earlier by the sugar industry”. The parallel he see is that the sugar industry tries to undermine science and to intimidate scientists as well as subverting sensible regulation. In 2003 WHO was looking at a resolution for sugar to be reduced to just 10% of what people were currently eating. The resolution never went forward. The sugar industry influenced US congress to pull this recommendation by threatening to pull its funding of WHO. Just like we wouldn’t have a tobacco epidemic if there wasn’t a tobacco industry, we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic if we didn’t have an industry selling sugar, salt and fat – or the perfect combination of these ingredients; The Bliss Point.
To control the epidemic of non-communicable disease we have to control the food giants. But how? The law to ban supersize soft drinks in the States was overturned. Then followed advertising suggesting we were infringing on consumer freedom and rights by limiting consumption or telling people what they could eat. If fat and Sodium have limits why does sugar not? The consumer is blamed for their over-consumption yet they are not given the information they need or given it in unclear formats. Who knows how much sugar is in a child’s yoghurt or how much is too much?
What are your thoughts on sugar and the sugar industry?