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The “Real Thing” also kills…

Sugar is ‘toxic’ and should be controlled like tobacco and alcohol, claim scientists.

Sugar is so dangerous that it should be controlled just like alcohol and tobacco, researchers say.
They argue that it was fueling a global obesity pandemic and contributing to 35 million deaths each year from illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Writing in Nature, experts from the University of California San Francisco say that sugar does far more harm than simply expanding waistlines, and at the level consumed by most Americans it changes metabolism, raises blood pressure and damages the liver.

The health hazards mirror those of alcohol – which they point out is made from distilling sugar.

You what? That last one is the lamest argument I have ever heard. It’s like saying water is made of hydrogen and oxygen and they’re an explosive combination so water ought to explode too. And this in Nature for fuck’s sake. As to “distilling”…

Worldwide consumption of sugar has tripled during the past 50 years and is viewed as a key cause of the obesity epidemic.

Now, apart from the common but utterly inaccurate use of the word “epidemic” I don’t believe them.

But Drs Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt and Claire Brindis say obesity is just one possible symptom of sugar’s toxicity, which goes further than simply being high in calories.

Dr Lustig said: ‘As long as the public thinks that sugar is just ‘empty calories,’ we have no chance in solving this. ‘There are good calories and bad calories, just as there are good fats and bad fats, good amino acids and bad amino acids, good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates.

‘But sugar is toxic beyond its calories.’

What the fuck is that meant to mean? I mean is this biochemistry or alchemy?

The team suggest models such as levying special sales taxes, controlling access, and tightening licensing requirements on vending machines and snack bars that sell high sugar products in schools and workplaces.

Since when were “scientists” supposed to frame policy? Well, I guess since Plato had philosopher-kings… But in any case for fuck’s sake when was policy, whoever frames it, supposed to tell us what to eat?

Dr Schmidt said: ‘There is an enormous gap between what we know from science and what we practice in reality.

You said it Doc!

‘In order to move the health needle, this issue needs to be recognized as a fundamental concern at the global level.’

She added: ‘We’re not talking prohibition. We’re not advocating a major imposition of the government into people’s lives.

We’re talking about gentle ways to make sugar consumption slightly less convenient, thereby moving people away from the concentrated dose.

‘What we want is to actually increase people’s choices by making foods that aren’t loaded with sugar comparatively easier and cheaper to get.’

Like they’re not already?

I actually think this is more sinister than prohibition.

If you think this is a companion piece to my previous post then you’d be right.

28 Comments

  1. It would be interesting to know how these people are classified as ‘experts.’ Still as the report comes from California we shouldn’t be too gobsmacked. It must be all that sun or tremors or whatever else they have out there.

  2. Tim Newman says:

    This reminds me of a 2000AD story from the late ’80s about a man who had invented Umpty Candy, a highly addictive sweet which caused people to become like heroin addicts. The Judge Dredd arranged for him to be fired out to space, with the justification that the life of one man is worth the fate of Megacity One.

    However, a family of bandits caught up with the spacecraft and forced the man to reveal his recipe, before throwing him out into space. I remember it because of the superb script:

    “The Jong brothers’ methods were crude but effective.”
    “Tell us the recipe, or we’ll drill a hole in your head.”

    That was back in the days when 2000AD had a script as sharp-witted as a Raymond Chandler novel.

  3. Tim Newman says:

    And whaddya know, sugar was illegal in Megacity One!

  4. john in cheshire says:

    Sugar, do, do do, do, Oh Honey Honey. You are my candy girl, and you got me wanting you.

  5. RAB says:

    It’s becoming a difficult choice who to shoot first the “Experts” or the politicians, isn’t it?

    So what the fuck are we supposed to sweeten our food and drink with now? The chemical substitutes are out, the “Real thing” is out, back to Honey? Nah! some little wankspert will only find dangerous toxic Bee Poo in it, and get it banned too.

  6. nisakiman says:

    “…for fuck’s sake when was policy, whoever frames it, supposed to tell us what to eat?”

    Since they decided it could tell us what we can drink and where we’re allowed to smoke.

    TPTB have decided it’s a pretty good wheeze, this social engineering stuff, so it’s going to be rolled out in all sorts of areas, with the tame, in-house experts providing the necessary junk science to justify it.

  7. NickM says:

    john,
    Don’t give them ideas! They airbrush cigarettes from old movie promotional material so songs like that equating sweetness with sexual attraction shall soon have to be re-written too.

    Although how they’ll get the word “quinoa” to scan is beyond me…

    “… you are my organic girl and I want you in moderation and with out the trans-fats”.

  8. john in cheshire says:

    NickM, haha. sweet.

  9. NickM says:

    john,
    Your final warning. By using “sweet” with a positive connotation you are only empowering the sucrosiarchy that has enslaved us all. Look at bees controlled by a single queen…

    It isn’t Jews, Freemasons, 7ft reptilian aliens that rule the world but the Sugar Puffs Honey Monster.

    Next thing you’ll be telling me 9/11 wasn’t a controlled detonation organised by Nestle to justify a war in the Middle East so that they could sell sugary things to the Islamic world – which as everyone knows had absolutely no tradition whatsoever of producing absurdly sugary foodstuffs at all before Bush mobilized the troops…

  10. Sam Duncan says:

    “In order to move the health needle”

    There’s your problem right there. Why do they all feel this overwhelming urge to improve the health of the volk?

    It’s none of their damn business what we eat, smoke, or inject into ourselves. Individial doctors and patients, between themselves, in the privacy of the surgery, certainly. But it’s absolutely no concern at all of the government whether Britons or Americans are, on average, healthier than Italians, Brazilians, or Indians. None at all. It’s not a fucking competition.

    If they’re going to go down that road they shouldn’t act all indignant when people start using words like “fascist”. Jonah Goldberg touched a very raw nerve there.

  11. Thornavis says:

    Do you know I’m actually beginning to wonder if the religious don’t have a point after all about science not being all it’s cracked up to be. What happened to scientists ? They used to be cool, now most of them just seem to be statist morons, look at that stuff about not advocating a major intrusion of government into people’s lives when that is exactly what they’re proposing. Do they not understand their own proposals or is that they are so far gone in collectivist thinking that they genuinely don’t recognise infringement of personal liberty when they see it ?

  12. Thornavis says:

    RAB that’s a good point about honey, it will have to be controlled too and yet that would conflict with all that lovely natural pollination that everyone’s in favour of, watch the bansturbators teaming up with the animal rights loons to paint beekeeping as cruel to get round that one.

  13. Kevin B says:

    watch the bansturbators teaming up with the animal rights loons to paint beekeeping as cruel to get round that one.

    Nah, that would be like the RSPB enthusiastically backing giant bird mincing machines all over the place.

  14. Thornavis says:

    Kevin B. Don’t get me started on the RSPB, I packed my subscription in when I couldn’t take any more of the blatant commercialism masquerading as concern for the environment, nothing wrong with running a conservation business but pretending it’s a charity is something else.

  15. NickM says:

    Thornavis,
    Your February 3, 2012 at 4:29 am post gets to the crux. The question is, what is science? My take, from personal experience – astrophysics – is it is a dispassionate and essentially apolitical enquiry into the nature of the physical universe. Something I have been thinking on.

  16. RAB says:

    And let’s not forget the five fruits a day commandment, that’s gone tits up, er… pear shaped too. Fructrose see. naturally occuring Fruit sugar.

    Apparently a study has shown (yes I know the fear and loathing the phrase instills in all of you) that if you actually stick strictly to the regime, you will go pear shaped, cos of the sugar. A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips and all that. A walking talking, but very healthy, swears my greengrocer, Mr Blobby.

    So what the fuck are we supposed to believe anymore? So called scientists are contradicting themselves with every week that passes. Their credibility is in shreds.

    Everything we know is WRONG (well this week, but maybe completely the opposite next).

    One of my old Hippie time favorites for you all. Might as well have a laugh at the world going mad…

  17. kevin smith says:

    Regards to Nick & commentators, but you are going to look a bit dim in a few short years. This is the first shot in the war against refined sucrose, a product which IMHO should not exist. ‘They all laughed’ when it was suggested that there were health issues associated with baccy, ‘certain’ fats, ‘driving better with a couple of pints’. etc. The sugar lobby is so powerful that it is invisible, for now. Expect a similar battle, with doctors and politicians on the payroll, ” ‘Taint *so* bad, You have choice, I feed my kids sugar, Only harming myself, It will hurt the economy .. etc. etc.”. Expect a roaring silence from the dentists. CTRL SMUG ON I have not had sugar in the house for years. CTRL SMUG OFF. I expect to live longer. (and I expect it to seem longer – ever tasted raw chocolate?)

  18. Bod says:

    Funnily enough, Kevin, I bought some last weekend.

    High in fiber, zero calories from carbs, a modest payload of fat. And quite pleasant now I’ve adapted somewhat to a low carb regime.

    Handful of cacao nibs and a couple of coffee beans lasts quite a while, although the taste after 10 minutes is a bit savage. But then, that’s what mints are for.

  19. kevin smith says:

    Ah yes – Honey. Full of natural goodness.
    I have an acquaintance who has a few hives. He stopped by my manor on the way back from the cash n’ carry once. The van looked like it’s back tyres were a bit flat, and the springs seemed to have gone too.
    Ten non-redeemable brownie points to whoever correctly guesses his cargo!

    Regards,

    Low GI Joe

  20. kevin smith says:

    Bod, thanks for the tip!

  21. RAB says:

    Everything is bad for you if done to excess, Kevin Smith, water, carrot juice, anything at all. The trick is not to do it in excess.

    Like you, I hope to live long and prosper, like my ancestors. My grandparents all lived into their 90s, as did theirs (well apart from the one killed in a mine accident) and my mum is 88. They all drank, smoked, ate food that was incredibly fatty (buttermilk, bacon 80% fat with a strip of pink lean) and enjoyed their lives to the full. Their priority was to get ENOUGH to eat, not what. 2 World Wars, rationing etc.

    They were not standardised persons as the Medical Profession would have us be today, and they wern’t looking over their shoulder for the Grim Reaper either. Maybe it’s my family Genes eh? that over-ride all the health scares and allowed us to live as long as we obviously have? But where’s the research into that? Much easier to be a bansturbator of stuff they despise, for non scientific reasons isn’t it?

    The mass production and refinement and packaging of foods has increased at a pace since WW2, yet somehow we are all living longer, very much longer, so long as to worry Actuaries and Ponzi scheme pension planners.

    How come, if everything we like is so fuckin bad for us?

  22. Andrew Duffin says:

    The Doctors’ motto: Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato.

  23. Thornavis says:

    yep bad genes are more of a threat than eating sticky buns. I have an auto-immune condition that no amount of healthy living could have prevented, especially as it came on in my early twenties before I’d had time to get properly started on abusing my body. I’ve never bothered much about whether I’m poisoning myself with naughty foods as I’ve got enough to deal with coping with a real health problem without looking for fantasy ones. As RAB says if we are all on the fast track to eating ourselves to death how come the average life expectancy keeps going up ? That question is never addressed by the bansturbators except in vague hand waving terms about some future obesity epidemic or scare stories about children dying before their parents – just like BSE, remember that ? I reckon the obesity epidemic is like electric cars, always five years away from happening.

  24. Tim Newman says:

    It’s none of their damn business what we eat, smoke, or inject into ourselves.

    The number of people who justify it by pointing to the cost of NHS treatment, which is paid for collectively, is staggering. I am sure that one of the reasons the NHS is defended so vociferously is because it provides such a handy justification for to telling people what to do.

  25. Thornavis says:

    It is often the same people who defend the NHS with religious fervour who are most in favour of controlling everybody’s diet on the grounds of cost, they don’t seem to see the contradiction. If the NHS is a universal system free at the point of use then even implying that some people are costing it more than they should be is to undermine that position, once you start down that road you are on the way to rationing health care and making users pay for anything above a certain basic level. In fact you might as well go the whole hog and leave everyone to insure themselves and the biggest users pay the highest premiums. Not that the cost argument holds up anyway, does anyone seriously imagine that if we all lived disgustingly healthy lives and followed every instruction and guideline from our medical masters the cost of the NHS would fall by a single penny ?

  26. Amy Alkon says:

    It is utterly astonishing to me that people who clearly have zero science background or ability to assess science are commenting here as if they know what they’re talking about. I am a libertarian and deplore Lustig’s notion that the nanny state should come in and control all of us, but it is not “inactivity” that causes people to get fat. If it were, I’d be enormous from all the bacon, cheeseburgers and buttered green beans I eat and the sitting at the computer and writing I do.

    I just spent the evening with Dr. Michael Eades and Dr. Mary Dan Eades, two of the pioneers in evidence-based eating (ie, eating low-carb). Gary Taubes is another. Per Gary Taubes’ massive vetting of dietary science from the 1800s to now in “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why We Get Fat” (an easier read for people not versed in reading studies) it is carbohydrates — sugar, flour, starchy vegetables like potatoes, apple juice — that cause the insulin secretion that puts on fat.

    I am effortlessly slim thanks to eating very low-carb — and there is some indication that Alzheimer’s is “diabetes of the brain.” Those of you sneering at Lustig and whomever is in the video with him would do well to read Mike Eades at http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ — Tom D. Naughton, and William Davis’ book “Wheat Belly.” The results? See this blog item by Richard Nikoley.

    http://freetheanimal.com/2011/03/phd-med-school-biology-researcher-goes-paleo-racks-up-70-pound-weight-loss-gets-hot.html

  27. Thornavis says:

    Amy Alkon.
    Sorry I don’t care, you may be right about low carbs I don’t know, except that I do know that health scares come round with monotonous regularity and I’m sceptical of all of them. The only thing that matters is that people who should be sticking to science and medicine are increasingly demanding a say in public policy, instead of providing the facts as they are currently known and leaving it to individuals to make decisions about their diets, they become activists and align with government and fake charities to push an interventionist approach. This is seen at it’s worst with AGW where, whatever the science may or may not show, the scientific establishment has become wholly politicised, can you not see how damaging to science this is, never mind democracy ? You appear to have understood that statist intervention is a bad idea so what is your problem exactly ? That people without science qualifications are daring to have an opinion and express it ? OK I will stop doing that when people in white coats return the favour and stop hectoring me about whatever cause they’re getting het up about at the moment.

  28. [...] Some of the same people — based in San Francisco (where else?) — are now focussing on the evils of sugar.  Another group wants more New York-style bans on transfats and a tax on higher-fat dairy products [...]

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