A Partial Sugar Roundup

fake food

Why partial? Because Childhood Obesity News has published so many posts about sugar that it might take a while to recap all of them! As long as sugar is on the market, writers about health will never run out of material.

A piece titled, “Add Fat, Sugar, Salt, Sugar, and Fat. Repeat.” discussed Dr. David Kessler’s book The End of Overeating, and also Dr. Pretlow’s response to some of the ideas expressed in it. Dr. Kessler talks about the industry that sells us stuff that “looks like food.”

That marvelously blunt assessment is reminiscent of what many restaurants used to display: facsimiles of menu items, made from plaster, wax, or papier-mâché. Some still do this, probably more in other countries now than in America. The point is that many products we ingest daily have just about as much nutritional value as those fake presentations. Here is a line from the post:

Once we start down the junk-food road, the very substances themselves go to work rewiring the brain and telling it to want more, more, more. Pretty soon we’re looking at, for instance, a plate of fries, and seeing a friend who’s going to make us feel better.

How Evil is Sugar?” included an appreciation of a New York Times piece by independent health policy investigator Gary Taubes, whose conclusion could be summarized as, “Very evil indeed.” Childhood Obesity News said:

The terminology comes from Dr. Lustig himself, who uses the word “evil” to describe sugar five different times in his YouTube lecture “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” which has by now accumulated over 1,300,000 views—and there’s not a bosom or even a cute kitten in it.

Incidentally, as of today, that video presentation, from University of California Television, has now accumulated 5,846,600 views—and it’s not even the only version of “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” hosted by YouTube. Obviously, many people are paying attention and having their awareness raised. But the gap between awareness and action is very, very wide. The reason for that lies, quite probably, in the addictive qualities of sugar.

One eye-opening idea that Taubes put forth was the possibility that the famous Seven Countries Study was grossly misunderstood, and that nutritional science has laid a lot of blame on fat that should have been assigned to sugar instead.

As a substance, sugar hits us with a double whammy. It not only provides empty calories, but does active harm in ways that are still being catalogued. Some foods found in nature contain a certain amount of delightful sweetness. It is strangely significant that, for thousands of millennia, any human who wanted concentrated sweetness could only get it by stealing honey from a hive, at the risk of terrible retribution from angry bees.

The realization that sugar could be extracted, refined, and concentrated from some plants was as fateful as the discovery that atoms could be manipulated to explode and wipe out cities. How different human history might have been if neither of those possibilities had been exploited!

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Image by Edward Dalmulder


  1. To avoid this, cook once for lunch and supper.

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Childhood Obesity News | OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say | Dr. Robert A. Pretlow
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