This is why you're fat.
May 18, 2010 6:14 AM   Subscribe

The Most Harmful Drinks in America. Warning: simply reading this article may cause weight gain.
posted by zardoz (234 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Am I the only one whose first thought is to wonder which company paid to have this list assembled?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:19 AM on May 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


I like that they offer something you should drink instead.

16. Worst Soda Sunkist (1 bottle, 20 fl oz),
320 calories
0 g fat
84 g sugars

Drink This Instead! Izze Sparkling Clementine (1 bottle, 12 fl oz)
120 calories
0 g fat
27 g sugars


I can do that!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:20 AM on May 18, 2010


Not a single mention of the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. This list is fundamentally flawed.
posted by The White Hat at 6:21 AM on May 18, 2010 [17 favorites]


The comparison with other junk food is quite effective. I didn't know that Starbucks' espresso was the equivalent of four bowls of ice cream. I mean seriously, I'd rather just eat the ice cream.
posted by valkyryn at 6:22 AM on May 18, 2010 [13 favorites]


My ass thanks you.
posted by mazola at 6:23 AM on May 18, 2010


With a name like "Lobsterita..."
posted by ook at 6:23 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


When the 20th is water that has 150 calories you know this has to be a bad list. So I unwisely scrolled immediately to the bottom. W.T.F.

Scrolling up to try to find "real" drinks, I see 500 calorie lemonade. That's crazy, so I figured out how many calories it has when I make it. 1c condensed lemon juice, 1c sugar all into a 2L bottle. That's about 800 calories of sugar in the bottle plus whatever is in the juice itself. Call it 900-1000 total. A 2L bottle is about 67 fl oz and that drink is 32 floz....so it's about the same.

I really love sour lemonade, so maybe I'll just halve the sugar next time, or use Splenda or something. (It can't be less healthy than their "diet lemonade" that somehow clocks in at 15 calories.)
posted by DU at 6:25 AM on May 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


My long-time theory has been that soft drinks are the main cause of general obesity and diabetes in the States and now elsewhere. Time will tell.
posted by rmmcclay at 6:25 AM on May 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


Drink This Instead! Honest Tea Green Dragon Tea (1 bottle, 16 fl oz)

60 calories
0 g fat
16 g sugars

Warning: Do not operate a motor vehicle after consumption.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:25 AM on May 18, 2010


Substituting Leinenkugel Nut Brown for SN Bigfoot is like subbing a twinkie for a slice of homemade apple pie with ice cream. That particular brew is one of the foulest, most artificial-tasting things I've ever had the displeasure to try.
posted by mneekadon at 6:25 AM on May 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


Gasp! You can't put Bigfoot in the same category as any of those other sugar-water concoctions. A barleywine is *meant* to be a sturdy bastard of an ale, and you wouldn't put away a six-pack of those unless you had some serious head injuries planned that you didn't want to feel (until the next morning).

That said, I have some 2002 bigfoot still unopened, that's travelled across 2 continents. I'm Saving It.
posted by nonspecialist at 6:26 AM on May 18, 2010 [15 favorites]


Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream is high in calories?
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:27 AM on May 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


> The comparison with other junk food is quite effective. I didn't know that Starbucks'
> espresso was the equivalent of four bowls of ice cream. I mean seriously, I'd rather
> just eat the ice cream.

Only the sugar content in the ice cream is comparable. They ignore the other stuff (like fat, which is pretty significant in ice cream). Same for the other comparisons--that coke really is the same as a 10 pound well-marbled steak (in sugar content.)
posted by jfuller at 6:28 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


With a name like "Lobsterita..."

... I'll have two, why not?
posted by mazola at 6:30 AM on May 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


Let's do the math on the Red Lobster margaritas (because it's a little bit interesting).

Lobsterita (24oz): 890 calories, 183g sugar. That's 732 calories from sugar, leaving 158 from alcohol (22.6g, or 28.6mL of pure ethyl alcohol, or 71.5mL of 80-proof liquor).

Classic margarita: 250 calories, 22g sugar. 88 sugar calories, 162 from alcohol (23.1g, 29.3mL ETOH, 73.2mL liquor).

I bet it's an awful lot cheaper, too (and they're both made with the same tequila).
posted by uncleozzy at 6:32 AM on May 18, 2010


isnt white "chocolate" fundamentally chocolate flavored cocoa butter? to make hot chocolate out of that is like drinking melted lard.

disgusting.
posted by liza at 6:32 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


The comparison with other junk food is quite effective. I didn't know that Starbucks' espresso was the equivalent of four bowls of ice cream. I mean seriously, I'd rather just eat the ice cream.
@valkyryn - Just making sure... you do understand that all they're saying is that a venti-sized (biggest) peppermint white chocolate mocha with whipped cream has the same amount of SUGAR as 4 bowls of ice cream, right? This doesn't take into account fat, protein, or what non-sugar carbs might be in ice cream. If you had 4 bowls of ice cream, you'd be eating many times more calories than if you drank the mocha. Only the sugar would be the same.

And it's only the large super-sweet mocha that they're comparing. I'm pretty sure espresso by itself has no sugar at all.
posted by Vorteks at 6:33 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought this looked familiar.

Not a double, just lifted from another website.
posted by malocchio at 6:34 AM on May 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


And, also.
It's a fun concept, but you still have to read. Like jfuller says, some of the comparisons are a little some hyperbolic.

Does hyperbolic make sense there?
posted by SLC Mom at 6:38 AM on May 18, 2010


Damn you malocchio!
posted by SLC Mom at 6:39 AM on May 18, 2010


Bah.

Drink this instead:
Water
or, if you're tired and want to stay alert
Coffee (without all that froofy crap in it)
or, if you're tired, and done with the day
Alcohol (without all that froofy crap in it).

I'm all for caloric indulgences, but why waste any of your nutritional allotment on some artificially flavored drink?

I need my morning coffee.
posted by bibliowench at 6:44 AM on May 18, 2010 [38 favorites]


It's amazing to me that anybody drinks any of this. I only drink water and gin and I'm fat enough as it is.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 6:46 AM on May 18, 2010 [21 favorites]


Fizzy drinks increase your risk of gout. It seems to be the fructose.
posted by Phanx at 6:48 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would rather have one Bigfoot Ale than 12 Michelob Ultras.
posted by ghharr at 6:49 AM on May 18, 2010 [19 favorites]


They criticise energy drinks for being too high in energy, and recommend a low energy option?
posted by biffa at 6:49 AM on May 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Beer is tricky to assess, as alcohol behaves one way in a bomb calorimeter, and another in the body. The higher the alcohol content, the more sugar is converted, and as sugars and starches are right up the body's alley in converting to triglycerides (and hence fat) where ethyl alcohol must tread a trickier path through the liver.

The biggest issue with drinking strong beer and losing weight are nearby nachos and pretzels... reduced inhibitions means that sticking to a diet is problematic.

Also, one is unlikely to consume barleywine daily, the way one might iced tea, soda, fruit juice or energy drinks.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:50 AM on May 18, 2010


I'm in the same boat, DU, I love lemonade (and other citrus-based drinks such as Margaritas) so for years I drank Crystal Lite lemonade. However, I've been cutting down on the artificial sweetners as well, so now I limit myself to one diet gin and tonic with a hefty splash of lime juice a day.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:51 AM on May 18, 2010


A lot of adults really have no conception of calories and sugar content. My wife has adult-onset diabetic patients who honestly don't understand the implication of drinking a half-dozen beers or think they're doing well if they get frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. This seems especially prevalent among older men who quite possibly have never cooked for themselves.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:53 AM on May 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


What ever happened to water?
posted by Pollomacho at 6:53 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


liza, the white chocolate syrup at Starbucks is basically flavored sweetened condensed milk. That's one of the first ingredients, at least.
posted by zorrine at 6:54 AM on May 18, 2010


bibliowench: "Alcohol (without all that froofy crap in it)."

But I need that to sterilize my surgical instruments!
posted by charred husk at 6:55 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Diet Coke is the elixir of life.
posted by caddis at 6:56 AM on May 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


What ever happened to water?

You mean from the toilet? Those other drinks have electrolytes!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:56 AM on May 18, 2010 [42 favorites]


Drink This Instead!

Leinenkugel’s Fireside Nut Brown Ale


No.
posted by jquinby at 6:57 AM on May 18, 2010 [10 favorites]


I was always disappointed that the Lobsterita didn't contain actual lobster. THAT would be a helluva drink.
posted by jbickers at 7:00 AM on May 18, 2010 [10 favorites]


19. Worst Bottled Tea
SoBe Green Tea (1 bottle, 20 fl oz)
240 calories

Sugar Equivalent: 4 slices Sara Lee Cherry Pie


I'm pretty sure four slices of pie are more caloric than 240 calories. If I am wrong about this, please let me know. Then I will go buy a pie.
posted by mmmbacon at 7:01 AM on May 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


You can't really be annoyed at the "energy" drinks for having lots of sugar in them. That's kind of the point.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:05 AM on May 18, 2010


"Lobsterita" was my drag name until I got sued by RL corporate. Maybe I'll have better luck as "Lois Farrakhan."
posted by hermitosis at 7:06 AM on May 18, 2010 [15 favorites]


Cold Stone PB&C (24 fl oz)

2,010 calories
131 g fat (68 g saturated)
153 g sugars

That is just absurd... that motherfucker should face a 300% tax and a free kick in the ass. ... seriously.
posted by edgeways at 7:08 AM on May 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


Ok what the hell are they putting in that thing they call a "Lobsterita"?

The actual "Chef's Sig. Lobster and Shrimp Pasta-Full Portion" from the Red Lobster only comes in at 1020 calories. Their "Stuffed Maine Lobster" only has 240.

A Lobsterita contains the caloric equivalent of 2 stuffed Maine lobsters and 6 shots of tequila.

If anyone ever sees me drinking one of those you can consider it evidence of my complete loss of sanity. Make it quick and painless.
Come to think of it the same applies if you ever see me at a Red Lobster that isn't the absolute closest place to drink after work.
posted by vapidave at 7:10 AM on May 18, 2010


Cold Stone PB&C (24 fl oz)
2,010 calories
131 g fat (68 g saturated)
153 g sugars

That is just absurd... that motherfucker should face a 300% tax and a free kick in the ass. ... seriously.


Over twice an adult male's GDA of saturated fat (and over 3 times a woman's). I bet on the side though it says:
"Contains less than 7g of saturated fat per serving!* *cup contains 10 servings"
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:11 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


So the treats stacked next to the bottles are serving suggestions, right?

Also: I was disappointed to learn that the Lobsterita has no actual lobster in it. Lame.
posted by sourwookie at 7:11 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Rockstar Energy Drink (1 can, 16 fl oz)

280 calories
0 g fat
62 g sugars

Drink This Instead!

Whiskey Sour
posted by shakespeherian at 7:12 AM on May 18, 2010 [14 favorites]


Have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure-grain alcohol?
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:14 AM on May 18, 2010 [20 favorites]


Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (1 bottle, 12 fl oz)

330 calories
0 g fat
32.1 g carbohydrates
9.6% alcohol


The kid in me says "Hey, sugar!"

But the grown-up in me says "DRINK THIS FUCKING BEER NOW."
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:17 AM on May 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


A MESSAGE FROM YOUR KEYBOARD! don't read this if you're hungover
posted by invitapriore at 7:18 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I assumed you drank liquid cookies.
posted by umberto at 7:20 AM on May 18, 2010


The problem is that casually people don't see drinks as a source of fatness. Particularly if you're attuned to worrying about fat and cholesterol; there's no fat in a coke, so how can it make you fat?
posted by Nelson at 7:22 AM on May 18, 2010


They compare a Rockstar (280 calories, 3g bigotry) to 6 Krispy Kreme donuts. Does a single donut really only have 47 calories? That seems a bit low.
posted by explosion at 7:27 AM on May 18, 2010


Sugar contentonly, explosion. Not fat, carbs, etc.
posted by sourwookie at 7:30 AM on May 18, 2010


6 Krispy Kreme donuts. Does a single donut really only have 47 calories?

Krispy Kreme down the street has the Hot Fresh Now! sign lit up. I need to know the answer to this soon...
posted by This Guy at 7:30 AM on May 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


I have had the #1 (though not that size). At the time, I knew it had to be bad for me, but I didn't know how bad. But, oh, was it good.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:30 AM on May 18, 2010


they think sierra nevada bigfoot is the "worst" beer in america?

i guess they've never heard of imperial stouts
posted by pyramid termite at 7:30 AM on May 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


God, these look good. No wonder y'all are so fat over there. [/jealous drooling Brit]
posted by alasdair at 7:34 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Honestly, I'll admit that while I understand beverages contain calories, I'm not that good at staying away from them. A list like this is pretty sobering, but 30 odd years of drinking cola is a pretty hard habit to break. Of course, the realization that fruit juice is pretty bad for me was kind of depressing. God. I just want something that tastes good, but won't kill me.

Oh, and wtf? Everytime I come back to the States, I get a 'hmm, y'know, I'd like some green tea' feeling. Then I spend about ten minutes looking through the supermarket for green tea that has water and tea, and nothing else. I understand that sweetened green tea tastes pretty nice, but that's not the point! It's a pleasant palate cleansing drink. Why does it have to be laden with sugar for Americans to drink it? I don't even want to think what would happen to mugi-cha if it crossed the Pacific. That stuff is the brown nectar of summer (when at work, or in non-beer drinking situations).
posted by Ghidorah at 7:35 AM on May 18, 2010


6 Krispy Kreme donuts. Does a single donut really only have 47 calories?

No. A single donut only has 10.3 grams of sugar. The junk food comparisons are only in terms of sugar content. Dear thread: This is why the comparisons are labeled 'Sugar Equivalent.'
posted by shakespeherian at 7:37 AM on May 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


They're just comparing sugar content, not calorie content.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:38 AM on May 18, 2010


I understand that sweetened green tea tastes pretty nice, but that's not the point! It's a pleasant palate cleansing drink. Why does it have to be laden with sugar for Americans to drink it?

Pretty much everything we eat has massive amounts of sugar in it. I believe it's as a replacement for artificial preservatives, but I can't remember where I read that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:39 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


One thing that seems to be the case is that human beings have a hard time divining the energy density of things we drink. We can start eating a cheese cake and stop because it's heavy or rich but at the same time we can have a frapacino every day and never really notice. Hunger is the thermostat governing how much we should eat and it does a fairly good job considering what's involved but it seems drinking calories really short circuits the equation.

Also for whatever reason artificial sweeteners don't seem to fix anything. I don't know why that is.
posted by I Foody at 7:40 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


No. A single donut only has 10.3 grams of sugar. The junk food comparisons are only in terms of sugar content. Dear thread: This is why the comparisons are labeled 'Sugar Equivalent.'

Dammit. That sign is totally taunting me...
posted by This Guy at 7:40 AM on May 18, 2010


I'm happy -- coffee wasn't on the list.
posted by jb at 7:41 AM on May 18, 2010


I've never really gotten the beverage thing. I hate coffee and soft drinks, and only very occasionally have tea or a cuppacino or alcohol. Generally I drink nothing but lots of water and one glass of milk a day. Every time I go to the grocery store I see people loading their carts with cartons of pop and juice and flavoured water, and I always think about how much that much cost, all for something that nutritionally speaking they'd be better off without.

Why on earth can't people just drink water? To me nothing else tastes as good or is a thirst-quenching.
posted by orange swan at 7:44 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


this is why I only drink rainwater and pure grain alcohol.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM on May 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


Also for whatever reason artificial sweeteners don't seem to fix anything. I don't know why that is.
Artificial sweeteners aren't just empty calories - they act like negative calories - causing you to want to later ingest more calories. That's why you're tempted to eat more after a diet coke. (trying to find a link to the radio piece where I heard that)
posted by e1presidente at 7:48 AM on May 18, 2010


Actually -- something to think about is that even pure fruit juice is largely sugar and water, and it's 100% fructose (which is worse for you than cane sugar or HFCS).

Pediatricians now recommend that parents give their children a) water and b) milk. Every other kind of drink should be a treat.

I've adopted this for my own lifestyle, only I've replaced the water with coffee and the milk with coffee with milk.
posted by jb at 7:49 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Do people really think some of these drinks are good for them? I mean, does it come as a surprise to anyone that some 20 oz. coffee ice cream shake is full of sugar and fat?

I don't think the "alternatives" are much better, honestly, and a little misguided (I echo the sentiments that those who'd drink Bigfoot Barleywine are not the same people who would drink Leinenkugel’s Fireside Nut Brown Ale. I mean, some of us are well-aware that beer has calories, so we pick good beers to make it worth it).

I occassionally buy a VitaminWater or such (I rarely -- if ever -- drink soda, and then it's in small amounts) but I'm under no illusions it's "good" for me (and even with those sorts of drinks, I've really cut back, even though I was never that bad before). So mostly, it's water or herbal tea for me (plus black coffee in the mornings).

(I also never understood people who say "I don't like water." What's to not like?)
posted by darksong at 7:53 AM on May 18, 2010


@valkyryn - Just making sure... you do understand that all they're saying is that a venti-sized (biggest) peppermint white chocolate mocha with whipped cream has the same amount of SUGAR as 4 bowls of ice cream, right? This doesn't take into account fat, protein, or what non-sugar carbs might be in ice cream. If you had 4 bowls of ice cream, you'd be eating many times more calories than if you drank the mocha. Only the sugar would be the same.

Actually... not really. You'd need six servings to equal the calorie content, and like seven or so to equal the sugar. Even at seven servings you're still looking at about the same amount of fat.

The trick here is that they picked "slow churned" ice cream, which is really a marketing euphamism for "low fat". Switch to the good stuff and you're definitely right though. That's more like four servings for the calories, and to equal the sugar you'd be getting several times the calories and fat.
posted by valkyryn at 7:53 AM on May 18, 2010


I'd still rather have the ice cream though...
posted by valkyryn at 7:53 AM on May 18, 2010


Cookiebastard you ....bastard.


Okay story time. So I'm in science class in HS and starting to do the numbers on energy and nutrition and it starts to hit me in that vague teenage way that hey-soda has a lot of sugar and calories in it , maybe I shouldn't drink 3 a day (or maybe I was KILLING MY TASTE BUDS WITH THE CARBONATION - I was a paranoid kid) So I decided to stop drinking all sugary and/or flavored drinks for a week, which was kinda hard cause milk makes me gag and we were a 2-liter of Cola On The Dinner Table kinda family but luckily I just discovered coffee and proceeded to drink dangerous amounts of it.

So fast forward a week or two . I forget my tea thermos so at lunch I say "why not?" and get a Capri Sun. Which I tend had to spit out completely. In front of everyone. it tasted vile, so sugary! like syrup! I never went back to flavored drinks again.


except at the movies and/or amusement park. I'm getting a cherry coke. Because I'm doing to see shit explode or get on a roller coaster- that means cherry coke
posted by The Whelk at 7:55 AM on May 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


malocchio: "I thought this looked familiar.

Not a double, just lifted from another website.
"

So this blog just copied the content from Men's Health and is presenting it as it's own? I thought that the pictures looked way too professional for a blog.
posted by octothorpe at 7:55 AM on May 18, 2010


Those photos are fantastic.

A recent NPR story about soda, it's health effects, and taxation.
posted by ropeladder at 7:58 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


No. A single donut only has 10.3 grams of sugar. The junk food comparisons are only in terms of sugar content. Dear thread: This is why the comparisons are labeled 'Sugar Equivalent.'

Ah. I was mislead, then. The article starts off with 4 drinks that derive all of their calories from their added sugar, so my brain kind of short-circuited to this:

"Rockstar has 280 calories, all from sugar. This sugar is equivalent to 6 Krispy Kreme donuts!"

It's kind of misleading, because they really mean:

"Rockstar has 280 calories from sugar, which is the same as is found in 6 Krispy Kreme donuts!"

It's really a meaningless comparison, as an entire loaf of bread or a 48 oz steak with a bit of sugar sprinkled on top could have fewer "sugar calories" than the Rockstar.
posted by explosion at 8:01 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everything except the Barleywine is spot on. It's the only thing on that list, with the possible exception of that ColdStone thing (which is a separate category too, most likely) that isn't a science project.

I'm quite sure that craft strong ale is not a major offender in the obesity epidemic.
posted by kosem at 8:01 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


What Starbucks is doing that is so, so successful is "normalizing" this kind of sugar intake, very similar to what soft drink/fast food companies did 30+ years ago. I mean, why don't we think it's weird to have 18 teaspoons of sugar with our cheeseburger? Yet, I'll bet the percentage of people who buy a McDonald's cheeseburger without a coke is <10%.

Every morning, I see the same obese people walk into my office with their frozen whipped cream topped Starbucks abomination and I'll try to make a jokey, yet hopeful comment like "Ah, starting the day off with dessert, eh? Good plan!" and the response is always the same "No, it's just my morning coffee."
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:03 AM on May 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


I've never tried their good or bad beer suggestions but both had almost the same carbohydrates or calories per unit alcohol, well the Bigfoot about 26 extra calories once you've drank enough alcohol in Firesides.

That said, if you'll drink exactly one beer, then obviously cutting the calories helps, just no as much as skipping the fries. I'd also imagine drinking the lower cal and carb beers helps frat boys who are drinking to get drunk, i.e. they'll spend more time peeing and less time drinking.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:04 AM on May 18, 2010



Also, one is unlikely to consume barleywine daily, the way one might iced tea, soda, fruit juice or energy drinks.


Pleased to meet you, name's Slarty.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:06 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I always assumed that when people said they "don't like water", it's because (as mentioned above) they are thirsty so much as they looking for a palate cleanser, something to leave a pleasant taste in their mouth. You know, like unsweetened tea (as mentioned above) or water with a little squeeze of lemon or a cucumber slice in it. Which you can't buy in the cooler case of a convenience store. Which is where Americans are hard-trained since birth is the place where we get sustenance. In my wholly unscientific study of things that thwart me in my desires, it seems that every time a convenience drink comes to market that has no fucking sugar in it but something that adds a little taste, it lasts about two weeks until they add sugar or hideous fake sweeteners or otherwise triple the flavoring until once again, you are thirsty and looking for something with a hint of flavor in it and all there is in the case are triple-sweet, heavily flavored, science experiment beverages. And no water fountains.

Or people "don't like water" because they live in Chicago, where our water tastes like Lake Michigan. Some days that's not so bad. but other days it's horrible.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:08 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Urgh. Comparing soft drinks to fatty foods is pretty disingenuous.

And Nth the hate on the beer comparison. It's like saying "That cabernet has too much fructose! You should try Diet Rite instead!"

(full disclosure: already one Mountain Dew Typhoon into the day)
posted by neckro23 at 8:09 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is why I wear a Stilsuit.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:13 AM on May 18, 2010 [14 favorites]


Coffee(Black) 12oz: Calories 4, Fat 0.07g, Carbs 0.14g, Protein 0.43g
posted by octothorpe at 8:15 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


So this blog just copied the content from Men's Health and is presenting it as it's own? I thought that the pictures looked way too professional for a blog.

I'm conflicted. On the one hand, we're linking to plagiarists. But on the other hand, they put it all on one page, while Men's Health spread it over 20 pages.
posted by ook at 8:17 AM on May 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Since a lot of people are praising the layout and format of the article, especially the provided alternatives, it should be mentioned that the blog post in the FPP is completely stolen from Eat This, Not That, photos and all. They also repost much of the articles on yahoo! Health in a single-page, easier-to-navigate format.

The site in the FPP pretty much admits that all it does is steal other people's content, so I figured I should mention the origin because 1. there's an entire archive of these lists based on category and 2. we all hate ebaumsworld so supporting an equivalent seems equally obnoxious.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:19 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oops, sorry just saw someone already caught this. But yeah, Yahoo has a content-sharing deal with Men's/Women's Health and is a non-plagiarizing source with a readable format.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:21 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


America drinks and goes home.
posted by hellojed at 8:21 AM on May 18, 2010


My feeling of moral superiority is pleasantly swollen. Like a small child that just drank 32oz of melted ice cream.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:25 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Every morning, I see the same obese people walk into my office with their frozen whipped cream topped Starbucks abomination and I'll try to make a jokey, yet hopeful comment like "Ah, starting the day off with dessert, eh? Good plan!"

You must be very popular in your office.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:28 AM on May 18, 2010 [32 favorites]


Don't forget to look at the size comparisons. So often it tells you to not have a 20 oz soda and have a 12 oz one instead, where much of the calorie-saving comes from the overall decreased quantity.

All in all, a crap post: Bad science, bad comparisons, and all lifted from Men's Health wholesale.
posted by Xoder at 8:28 AM on May 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Too bad about the link stealing. The underlying idea of the (original) article is good, though -- I don't think many people are aware of how much sugar (and sometimes fat) is in the things we drink every day.

And the serving sizes. My god -- there is no need for a "small" to be 20 ounces. That's outrageous.
posted by Forktine at 8:28 AM on May 18, 2010


God, these look good. No wonder y'all are so fat over there. [/jealous drooling Brit]

Have a fry up, you'll feel better.

Fuck me, now I want baked beans. And I just found 5# of pork belly in the freezer. I wonder what happens if I fry pork belly in duck fat?

Okay, it's clearly time for me to eat breakfast
posted by stet at 8:34 AM on May 18, 2010


@valkyryn - Even though Edy's slow churned is relatively low-fat, it's still higher calorie than the mocha in the quantities indicated. They're comparing 8.5 scoops of ice cream to the drink. 1 scoop > 1 serving. A serving, as indicated on the package, is only a half-cup (62g, according to a similar Edy's package I have in my fridge). Baskin Robins defines a scoop as 4oz in all their nutritional information. 4oz / 62g = 1.829.

1.829 x 8.5 x 105 calories = 1632 calories. WAAYYY more than the 660 in the mocha.

Even if we assume they meant 8.5 half-cup servings instead of scoops, 8.5 x 105 calories = 892.5 calories. Still more than the mocha.
posted by Vorteks at 8:35 AM on May 18, 2010


I was a paranoid kid

What's changed?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:36 AM on May 18, 2010


Who really needs a third of a gallon of sweetened peanut butter blended with grape juice, milk, and bananas?

Do people actually drink this? There is something about that combination that just sounds really revolting. I mean, individually, all those elements sound fantastic, but together? Blech.
posted by quin at 8:39 AM on May 18, 2010


DU, make a pot of (decaffeinated for me) tea, using 4 tea bags and plenty of water. Add 1 can concentrated lemonade, plus 1 (of 3 suggested) cans of water. Pour over lots of ice to cool it and provide more water. Refreshing tealade that's not too sweet.
posted by theora55 at 8:40 AM on May 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Do people really think some of these drinks are good for them?

No, but I think people often underestimate the contribution that drinks make to making them fat.

People do seem to find it hilarious if I order a Diet Coke in McDonalds. But that cuts out 210kcal over regular coke for a medium, or 310kcal for a large. For comparison, a Big Mac is 570kcal, so the drink makes a significant difference.

People who want to diet, but are scared of counting calories, do often seem to end up sucking down thousands of calories a week in sugary drinks, while putting an enormous effort into shaving a few hundred calories off their main meals. They seem to instinctively feel that it's the stuff that feels filling that they need to worry about, when it's the hidden calories that are the bigger problem.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:43 AM on May 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


Is any of this really a surprise to anyone? Drink water if your thirsty, drink coffee or tea if need some caffeine, add as little sugar as you can stand (or better yet, drink it black).
posted by doctor_negative at 8:43 AM on May 18, 2010


18. Worst Energy Drink
16. Worst Soda
15. Worst Beer
14. Worst Kids' Drink
13. Worst Functional Beverage
12. Worst Juice Imposter
3. Worst Drive-Thru Shake
1. Worst Beverage in America


There is one answer for all of these: Country Club.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:44 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm all for caloric indulgences, but why waste any of your nutritional allotment on some artificially flavored drink?

Well, I gave up alcohol, caffeine and most refined sugar, so for some of us we get what we can. I do drink water throughout the day. My last regular indulgence is diet root beer, and you can take it from me when you pry my frosty mug from my cold, dead hands.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:44 AM on May 18, 2010


The comparison with other junk food is quite effective.

Comparisons?! I thought they were serving suggestions.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:45 AM on May 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


"Rockstar has 280 calories, all from sugar. This sugar is equivalent to 6 Krispy Kreme donuts!"

Wow, Krispy Kreme donuts have a lot less calories than I imagined. That can't be right.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:47 AM on May 18, 2010


1) Leinenkugel only makes disgusting gimmick beers.
2) Honest Tea is the best thing ever invented.
3) Sweetened coffee is an abomination.

Fizzy drinks increase your risk of gout. It seems to be the fructose.

Yup. The fact that diet soft drinks didn't do that seems to at least mostly exonerate the carbonation itself. FWIW, I've had on and off gout for a long time and my (well-known and transplant program-leading) nephrologist told me that carbonated beverages just aren't acidic enough to worsen gout in the quantities a human being can comfortably consume.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:51 AM on May 18, 2010


I'm glad that i wouldn't drink any of that shit.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:53 AM on May 18, 2010


They compare a Rockstar (280 calories, 3g bigotry) to 6 Krispy Kreme donuts. Does a single donut really only have 47 calories? That seems a bit low.

I see what you did there.
posted by fyrebelley at 8:53 AM on May 18, 2010


See that stack of Rice Krispie Treats? It’s just three treats shy of two full boxes. Unless you were a contestant on Fear Factor—and there was a sizeable monetary prize on the line—you’d never even consider noshing down that much sugar at once.
You don't know me!
posted by aubilenon at 8:57 AM on May 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Do people actually drink this? There is something about that combination that just sounds really revolting.

It's kinda making me hungry.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:57 AM on May 18, 2010


I think what finally turned me off to non-diet soda was having Coke dry out into a horrible viscous goo in and around my car's cupholder one summer long ago.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:58 AM on May 18, 2010


The whole "drink water, duh" attitude is great, but in a country as addicted to sugar as the US, that water better have some kind of copious sugar or sugar substitute in it, preferably along with lots of carbonation and high fructose corn syrup.

And I hate to say it, but I drink a lot of water, and I love water, but sometimes you just want something ELSE. Maybe that means I'm irrational and unhealthy. So be it.

I am so depressed that a cup of Purity lemonade contains 32g of sugar. That was my only indulgence until I actually read that damn USDA label.
posted by blucevalo at 9:02 AM on May 18, 2010


From the original article:

"But here’s what’s worse: No regular shake at Cold Stone, no matter what the size, has fewer than 1,000 calories."

The post also reminded me of this:
"Are you ready for a new car, one that actually has enough room for all of the kids, enough cupholders and the latest safety features? (...)
In the crossover category the Chevrolet Equinox, Toyota Rav 4, and Honda CR-V all stood out.
"It's got great cupholders. There is a lot of room inside," said Brauer. "It is easy to park, but there is still plenty of room inside for people and things in the cargo area."

1000 calorie drinks. Big cupholders as a top 3 priority when buying cars. This is why you're fat.
posted by iviken at 9:04 AM on May 18, 2010 [3 favorites]



But I need that to sterilize my surgical instruments!


Ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol are classified as intermediate-level disinfectants and would not be an appropriate method of sterilization for surgical instruments, so drink away! (though not the isopropyl stuff)
posted by ghharr at 9:04 AM on May 18, 2010


5. Worst Frozen Fruit Drink
Krispy Kreme Lemon Sherbet Chiller (20 fl oz)


I grew up on "Hot Donuts Now" and used to get the ones that fell on the floor for free (or if the counter lady was nice, some empty hot jelly donuts to-be); to see that monstrosity is embarrassing.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:08 AM on May 18, 2010


How many calories of sugar are in three grams of bigotry, anyway?
posted by ook at 9:11 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Diet Coke is the elixir of life.

Bleagh. Diet Coke is an abomination. Coke Zero, now, that's the good stuff.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:12 AM on May 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


and you wouldn't put away a six-pack of those unless you had some serious head injuries

That's what I told everyone at the time, anyway. (My fave Sierra Nevada is still the Brown Saison. Shame it isn't more readily available.)
posted by octobersurprise at 9:13 AM on May 18, 2010


For what it's worth, I bought myself a home carbonation kit, and I've completely eliminated even diet soda from my diet. I just keep some lemons, limes and whatnot handy. It full of cold, bubbly, delicious, refreshing WIN.
posted by nevercalm at 9:14 AM on May 18, 2010


It would be nice if suggestions weren't to go to a Diet version. Not that I was drinking any of these things anyways, but artificial sweeteners have a quite disgusting taste to me, so they're a horrible replacement for anything.

Are 100% fruit juices really unhealthy on balance? I know they're all sugar, but I love me some fruit juice and would be depressed to discover they're bad for me overall.
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:15 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


How depressing. I'm fat and I never drink any of these things. Except Sunkist. If there's no diet soda at a party, I may concede to my love of orange pop. Course, I love diet sodas, so I'll probably get diabetes or cancer anyway? I can't keep track of everything -- THAT WOULD BE AN EATING DISORDER.

But those coffee disasters? Faugh. I only ever even get a latte if I'm counting it as a meal. I pity people who are accustomed to consuming sugary, fake crap. The simple foods actually taste better, because you can actually taste them through the gustatory roar of MSG and carbonation and sucrose and colorful clowns jumping on your face. But alas, NOW WITH MORE MOELCULES!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:16 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why on earth can't people just drink water? To me nothing else tastes as good or is a thirst-quenching.

Grapefruit juice, Campari, fizzy water. Add vodka for an extra kick.
posted by rtha at 9:18 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


so drink away! (though not the isopropyl stuff)

Not a fan of Italian wines I see.

I know, I know, that was methanol.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:19 AM on May 18, 2010


[Swapped out the link to the original Men's Health slideshow instead of the scummy no-attribution blog. Carry on!]
posted by cortex at 9:25 AM on May 18, 2010


this is why I only drink rainwater and pure grain alcohol.

P-O-E, O-P-E, something like that!
posted by Mister_A at 9:28 AM on May 18, 2010


I love the taste and texture and mouthfeel and all of that of Diet Coke, but I know it's terrible for me even though it's sugarless. So glad I kicked the caffeine habit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:29 AM on May 18, 2010


I can't keep track of everything -- THAT WOULD BE AN EATING DISORDER.

I'm a big fit-at-any-size fan so feel free to do what you want, but if you love the Sunkist and are concerned in some way about your weight you can do some math: eleven 20 oz. sodas = 1 lb [more or less]. Eleven fewer sodas = 3520 fewer calories = roughly 1 lb. I think this is what is totally insidious about soda and calorie-filled drinks generally. We don't realize that they have calories and bottom-line effects on our weight, or fitness quests, or whatever. The good news is that cutting out soda is one of the more easy things to do to nip extra calories. Not like I'm awesome at it, but I switch to diet or drink iced tea. It's a total hassle when you're out and about though, I'll admit.

Why does it have to be laden with sugar for Americans to drink it?

I blame corn subsidies.
posted by jessamyn at 9:35 AM on May 18, 2010


The Rockstar to donut comparison is based on calories from sugar alone, I think, which explains why the total calorie count for one donut seems ridiculously low by the given measure.
posted by invitapriore at 9:36 AM on May 18, 2010


NOW WITH MORE MOELCULES!

This is a great ad campaign in the making.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:40 AM on May 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


They can take orange soda out of my cold, dead hands! I don't drink it every day, and a can is fine, but I refuse to give it up completely, or go diet- diet drinks taste too chemically for me. Which is shame, because I otherwise really love Fresca.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:44 AM on May 18, 2010


So I'm at #13 (83g of Sugar!??!) and I'm afraid to go any further.
posted by dry white toast at 9:46 AM on May 18, 2010


There are unhealthy things in drinks besides sugar.
posted by QIbHom at 9:47 AM on May 18, 2010


> cutting out soda is one of the more easy things to do to nip extra calories. Not like I'm awesome at it, but I switch to diet or drink iced tea.

Yeah, I honestly do not like sugar sodas, which hurt my teeth, and bring home several bottle of diet cherry pepsi or diet dr. pepper or diet ginger ale every week from the market. Not only is it a substitute for calorically rich beverages on offer, it it a tasty treat for when I might otherwise get a real snack. To have totalitarian health monsters on my case for the aspartame or whatever just makes me lose it. /snarling diet pepsi hellhound
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:47 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


The junk food comparisons are only in terms of sugar content. Dear thread: This is why the comparisons are labeled 'Sugar Equivalent.'

I think this is a horribly misleading article, that actually defeats the point it is trying to make, since it implies you can substitute 32 cookies for one 290 calorie drink. Saying "it's just the sugar content" is meaningless when they are choosing high fat foods for comparison.
posted by smackfu at 9:56 AM on May 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I stare at this ad on my train ride to work every morning. Disgusting. It's seemingly effective and all, (it does make me think twice about drinking all that crap) but I really dislike the media buyers for putting it so close to my face. Geeugh.
posted by functionequalsform at 9:57 AM on May 18, 2010


I don't get it - those are all treat drinks: sodas, mochas, shakes, etc. (Aside from the beer, of course.) Are there truly people who think, gee, I'm thirsty, think I'll hit the Cold Stone for a PB&C? You know what will slake my thirst? An energy drink! Please tell me I'm not giving people too much credit here...

On the other hand, drink up, America! The fatter you get, the thinner I look!
posted by Never teh Bride at 10:01 AM on May 18, 2010


Drink this instead: SULFURIC ACID
posted by Ratio at 10:07 AM on May 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


I don't get it - those are all treat drinks: sodas, mochas, shakes, etc. (Aside from the beer, of course.) Please tell me I'm not giving people too much credit here...

Way too much credit, particularly with soda. Plenty of people drink it with every meal.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:14 AM on May 18, 2010


I concur with the drop calorie containing drinks to effect weight loss plan. It's the main long term diet change I made that has set my body weight plateau 30 lbs lighter.
posted by garlic at 10:15 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't get it - those are all treat drinks: sodas, mochas, shakes, etc. (Aside from the beer, of course.) Are there truly people who think, gee, I'm thirsty, think I'll hit the Cold Stone for a PB&C? You know what will slake my thirst? An energy drink! Please tell me I'm not giving people too much credit here...

You are giving people too much credit. Many people drink sodas with their lunch and dinner, and in between, and whenever else they're thirsty. I see the same people in Starbucks every morning buying a big frappucino, I'm sure there are loads of people who go through 3-4 large shakes a week.
posted by atrazine at 10:20 AM on May 18, 2010


These lists are complete bullshit because they pretend these are outliers, and in this case, that another purchased product is going to be so much better.

They recommend Smartwater as an alternative to the flavored water. Bottled water. Now, I've had this particular product, and yeah, it tastes like good water, but it's water. That stuff that comes out of the faucet and is in the toilet. Even overpriced Brita filters or whatever are cheaper than this and don't involve plastic bottles everywhere. Jesus.
posted by mikeh at 10:31 AM on May 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


In honor of this thread, I'm having a can of Sunkist :D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:31 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know what will slake my thirst? An energy drink! Please tell me I'm not giving people too much credit here...

Go to any college campus and ask a random sample of students how many energy drinks they consume in, oh, a month, especially around finals time. I read an article about it in my campus newspaper (unscientific survey, caveat emptor, etc, etc.) and the number was something mind-boggling. Part of it is convenience. Unfortunately, many campuses are not near health-food stores. What surrounds the campus is typically not Whole Foods or variations thereof but Wendy's, Starbucks, and convenience stores. Hard to be super-nutritious when you're running on a tight schedule and everything that is close by is pushing sugar down your gullet.
posted by blucevalo at 10:31 AM on May 18, 2010


I boggled a bit at "Drink this instead: Smartwater"... There are very few places in the USA with really bad tapwater. Drink this instead: Water, from the sink. That's what it's there for.

When I'm out, I tend to pick up whatever the zero-calorie fruity water is and take my risks with the scary chemicals. At work, I've discovered the wonder of a top hat tea strainer and some loose tea. It lets me have water-with-flavor pretty easily. If I had more energy, I'd probably make iced tea for the fridge at home.

As far as latte's go, they're coffee (which is calorie free) and milk (which is, you know, milk, and inherently bad.) If that's your milk intake for the day, or you can stand a skim milk latte, it's really not the milkshake folks make it out to be, as long as you don't add tons of sugar. (Personally, I find nonfat lattes need a little of some kind of sweetener, and full-fat lattes are sweet enough from the lactose and fat.)
posted by Karmakaze at 10:38 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lobsterita (24oz): 890 calories, 183g sugar. That's 732 calories from sugar, leaving 158 from alcohol

Drink This Instead: A goddamn real drink.
posted by spaltavian at 10:57 AM on May 18, 2010


I don't get it - those are all treat drinks: sodas, mochas, shakes, etc. (Aside from the beer, of course.) Please tell me I'm not giving people too much credit here...


Well, speaking of soda specifically, you know what the ideal soda consumption rate is (if you are going to drink soda at all)? Yeah, it's about one can... a week. Soda is our next "cigarette type" problem. Legal, plentiful, currently cheap and most people are in denial about it.
posted by edgeways at 11:00 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


If that's your milk intake for the day, or you can stand a skim milk latte, it's really not the milkshake folks make it out to be, as long as you don't add tons of sugar.

I get the feeling it's not the skinny latte that is the problem but instead the feature creep from the regular latte (190 cal) to the mocha (260 cal) and from the mocha to the large white chocolate frappucino (630 cal). More ingredients = higher cost [usually] so there's business incentive to upsell you and nutritional disincentives in it for you. [cite]
posted by jessamyn at 11:04 AM on May 18, 2010


Which you can't buy in the cooler case of a convenience store

Some convenience stores carry Perrier, the even better ones carry Pellegrino. In a pinch, you can find a bottle of unsweetened seltzer or club soda, which is very nice over ice from the convenience store soda dispenser and nicer still if said convenience store has sliced lemons (some do, if they have tea in the fountain).

Also you can add lemon, lime, or cucumber pre-road trip to ordinary tap water and just use your gas station/convenience store stop as an excuse to refill/re-ice. Note: if you're travelling by car in the south in the summer, don't forget to take your lemon/cucumber zested water bottle inside when you get wherever the hell it is you're going, so to avoid the old "what is that smell" when you get back into the car again after a weekend at the beach. Not that I've ever done anything like that . . .

And though it may be sort of irrelevant here: more coffee shops should have separate lines for people that just want black coffee.
posted by thivaia at 11:05 AM on May 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


> I get the feeling it's not the skinny latte that is the problem but instead the feature creep from the regular latte (190 cal) to the mocha (260 cal) and from the mocha to the large white chocolate frappucino (630 cal).

So true. I like to get my consumer fanciness fix by ordering a double con panna with splenda. Sometimes I even have to explain it to them, which means I'm the expert and they're the peon. Also it's pretty low-cal and low-cost for a coffee treat.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:11 AM on May 18, 2010


I just order americanos instead of drip coffee and everyone wins. They make their money since they had to do something, and I get something that I like a little better than drip coffee. Hooray!
posted by mikeh at 11:16 AM on May 18, 2010


I've gotten to the point where the break-even on an americano vs. drip coffee is leading me to buy the drip more often—I'd rather have my drink in hand when I leave the counter than to have to come back up, and it's not hard to get a good cup of drip coffee in this town so the flavor difference isn't exactly night and day.
posted by cortex at 11:29 AM on May 18, 2010


Are 100% fruit juices really unhealthy on balance? I know they're all sugar, but I love me some fruit juice and would be depressed to discover they're bad for me overall.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:15 PM on May 18 [1 favorite +] [!]


Sadly, yes -- 100% fruit juices are still primarily fructose (aka bad sugar) and water. Not being carbonated, they probably have less overall sugar than most sodas, but they are all fructose and it looks like that's the worst bit of the sugar. It's not like you shouldn't drink them -- just be aware that drinking juice isn't that much better than drinking soda, and it should be drunk in moderation like alcohol. (see this previous post on the metabolization of fructose, from which I am getting all of my fructose ideas, save for the bit about pediatritians telling parents to give kids just water and milk, which I heard from a pediatritian).

Whole fruit, however, is just fine and dandy. All that fibre is both really essential for your body and inhibits the absorbtion of the sugars -- and obviously fills you up such that you consume much less sugar than when just drinking the juice.
posted by jb at 11:31 AM on May 18, 2010


Is it just me or is that site just completely borked now?
posted by eyeballkid at 11:32 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


thivaia -- they do have separate lines for plain old coffee drinkers: the donut shop around the corner : )

(Actually, for those in the north-east of the US -- Au Bon Pain isn't a bad place to get a good cup of drip coffee. They are self-serve, have a nice dark coffee and are cheaper than Starbucks -- and my local one gave a nice hefty discount for bringing in your own mug. And if you're hungry, they have awesome bagels).
posted by jb at 11:35 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love Au Bon Pain but as I live in a state that is for some reason pronounced 'Illanoy,' whenever I tell my coworker I'm going there I call it 'Euhbuhpuh.'
posted by shakespeherian at 11:38 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


eyeballkid - yes. I thought it was flashblocker. borked.
posted by NoiselessPenguin at 11:38 AM on May 18, 2010


As far as latte's go, they're coffee (which is calorie free) and milk (which is, you know, milk, and inherently bad.)

I don't know if this is sarcasm or not, but please leave milk alone. Milk is our friend and helps us to grow strong.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:39 AM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I was at university there was a guy I knew who when revising mainlined full calorie Coke, like a full 2 litre bottle every day. It was pretty horrifying just how much weight he'd put on during just the few weeks leading up to the exams.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:41 AM on May 18, 2010


I don't know if this is sarcasm or not, but please leave milk alone. Milk is our friend and helps us to grow strong.
Worse -- it was a typo. I meant to type "not inherently bad".

My frustration with the whole latte thing is that, according to the charts, I can save a lot by switching to soy milk. Soy milk tastes fine (and, in fact, it's what I drank as a lactose-intolerant toddler), but I'm supposed to avoid soy because of the plant estrogens. So if I want to get a serving of dairy in with my fix and keep the calorie count down, I'm stuck with nonfat lattes with splenda. I miss real lattes.
posted by Karmakaze at 11:47 AM on May 18, 2010


Like a lot of people on this thread, I make a point to cut calories and sugar intake by watching what I drink. I'm kinda fidgety when I work, and I like to have some kind of drink on my desk at all times, so when my mind starts to wander I take a few sips then refocus, rather than alt-tabbing over to mefi, or whatever. I've gotten pretty good at limiting myself to black coffee, tea, and water for that purpose.

Sometimes I'll get in the mood for a coke, and since it's only once a month or so, I don't feel too bad about drinking the non-diet stuff. I like cans better than bottles -- the drink just tastes better, and colder! -- and they have the added bonus that you're consuming less quantity than a 20 oz bottle. (The little glass bottles taste even better, and the real sugar kind from the Mexican tiendas are better still, but that's another thread.)

We don't have a vending machine, so when I want a coke I go to the convenience store across the street. We're baffled by why Americans are in the habit of consuming things in such ridiculous quantities, but I think this helps to explain why: my local convenience store offers a 12 oz can of coke for $1.00, a 20 oz bottle for $0.89, and a 40 oz (refillable!) big gulp style fountain drink for $0.79. I just have to shake my head and laugh every time I grab the $1.00 can.
posted by c lion at 12:03 PM on May 18, 2010


Milk is our friend and helps us to grow strong. have violent shits and cramps that last for hours if we forget to take a little pill right before consuming it.
posted by The Whelk at 12:07 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


[I've changed the link to a slightly different Men's Health url that seems to be working at the moment. Carry further on!]
posted by cortex at 12:14 PM on May 18, 2010


Everyone has a friend like that, Whelk.
posted by JoanArkham at 12:15 PM on May 18, 2010


Milk is our friend and helps us to grow strong.

Lies.

"In their haste to sell products, the dairy industry has created an obsession over calcium that has become, in effect, a major contributor to the suffering and death of more than one billion people annually on Planet Earth from diseases of overnutrition—obesity, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and diabetes. "

...

"Consistently, when populations of people who eat different diets are compared, rates of hip fractures increase with increasing animal protein consumption (including dairy products). For example, people from the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand have the highest rates of osteoporosis. The lowest rates are among people who eat the fewest animal-derived foods (these people are also on lower calcium diets)—like the people from rural Asia and rural Africa."

- When Friends Ask: “Why Don’t You Drink Milk?”, by Dr. John MacDougall

NotMilk.com
posted by mrgrimm at 12:15 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you're judging which beer or cocktails you drink by caloric/sugar content, you're doing it wrong.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:22 PM on May 18, 2010


If you're judging which beer or cocktails you drink by caloric/sugar content, you're doing it wrong. haven't had enough yet.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:25 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Your taste preferences are determined by the age of 5 or so. It takes a lot of work to alter this, or years of living elsewhere and exposure to different cuisines. Of course, for most people this doesn't happen, and they're stuck with whatever formed their taste early on. Given how often fast food is fed to youngsters here, you can understand why most people find loads of sugar, salt etc. to be highly rewarding.

I thank America for being slim. I don't stay slim due to my will power in resisting temptation. I love pastry. Love it. Pastry could be my downfall into morbid obesity. But that's pastry in the European version - much, much lower in sugar content (though unfortunately it's changing in the direction of more sugar). The pastry here is - to me - inedible. It's so sweet, I simply cannot eat it. We go to Cheesecake Factory, and people are going gaga over the "delicious" cheesecake. I take one bite and cannot go on - and I'm a huge pastry demon. When on vacation abroad, I cannot resist the local bakeries and pastry shops. Here, I can ignore it with ease. West Hollywood has a famous pastry place (Sweet Lady Jane) - people are constantly telling me how delicious the stuff is there... I go in, order a bunch of different things, hoping to hit just one good one... and it's all massive sugar in every one of them. Inedible. As a result, I'm immune to the temptations here. Not thanks to my iron will, but to the fact that my taste buds did not become habituated to staggering amounts of sugar. And so I stay at BMI of 21 instead of 41, all thanks to the environment here in Los Angeles.

Thank you America, for keeping me slim! I wouldn't be able to do it anywhere else!
posted by VikingSword at 12:30 PM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is it just me, or has that magazine lately taken on the needling, prissy quality of a 1980s women's fashion glossy? "Oh, honey, you were drinking that?! Straight to the hips, baby, I'm telling you..."
posted by malusmoriendumest at 12:30 PM on May 18, 2010


If haven't had enough yet, you are also doing it wrong.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:31 PM on May 18, 2010


Consistently, when populations of people who eat different diets are compared, rates of hip fractures increase with increasing animal protein consumption (including dairy products).

So, you're saying you don't have any studies comparing groups who consume similar amounts of animal protein except for dairy products?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:33 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it just me, or has that magazine lately taken on the needling, prissy quality of a 1980s women's fashion glossy? "Oh, honey, you were drinking that?! Straight to the hips, baby, I'm telling you..."

Nope, it's not just you. Male mannequins go on a diet:
[I]ncreasingly, mannequins have become more aspirational models than reflective of the actual average human body. British mannequin maker Rootstein is rolling out a new model next month that looks more like Michael Cera than a Ken doll. The latest form, dubbed "Homme Nouveau," is waifishly thin, with a very Victorian 27-inch waist and a chest spanning 35 inches. According to New York magazine, this is a noticeable shift from the classic 1967 model, which had a 33-inch waist and a 42-inch chest. The measurements of male mannequins have been reducing steadily over the years, even as American men's actual pants size has been getting bigger: The average waist size in 2006 was 39.7 inches. L'homme nouveau, meet l'homme rél.
posted by nevercalm at 12:41 PM on May 18, 2010


I boggled a bit at "Drink this instead: Smartwater"... There are very few places in the USA with really bad tapwater.

I got into a fight the other day with one of the concession staff at the Lincoln Square IMAX over this very thing. I just wanted some goddamn water, and all they had was that loathsome Smart Water crap, which frankly tastes disturbingly similar to the smell* of the products the cleaning lady uses on our office bathrooms. The kid at the concession stand stared at me with a look of blank incomprehension when I asked for a large cup of tap water, for which I offered to pay full soda price.

I remained thirsty.

*Yes, something can taste like the smell of another thing. You all know it's true.
posted by elizardbits at 12:45 PM on May 18, 2010


My preferred Drink This Instead! for every one of these is a glass of refreshing vodka.
posted by moonbiter at 12:50 PM on May 18, 2010


the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand have the highest rates of osteoporosis. The lowest rates are among people who eat the fewest animal-derived foods (these people are also on lower calcium diets)—like the people from rural Asia and rural Africa."

I really hope that's a summary of data normalised for sunlight hours, because conveniently that's comparing countries near the poles with countries near the equator. Vitamin D is an important part of keeping your bone mass...

Apropos soft drinks -- well duh. I was raised in 70s New Zealand to view soft drinks as an occasional treat, like at birthday parties, or if you were at the beach for the day. And it came in small bottles. I never got a taste for it, and I don't know many people my age (40+) who do. Very aggressive marketing to young people seems to have convinced them that gallons of sugar water are a normal part of their daily diet. I think you have to grow up with it or be propagandised at a young age. More than a can of soft drink makes me feel weird, and somehow it doesn't really relieve my thirst much either.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:51 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Your taste preferences are determined by the age of 5 or so. It takes a lot of work to alter this, or years of living elsewhere and exposure to different cuisines. Of course, for most people this doesn't happen, and they're stuck with whatever formed their taste early on. Given how often fast food is fed to youngsters here, you can understand why most people find loads of sugar, salt etc. to be highly rewarding.

Most people's taste preferences change significantly from what they liked at 5. We start out favoring sweet things (like breast milk) but even if you only count the bitterness of coffee and alcohol, that's still a dramatic change in preferences.
posted by desuetude at 12:52 PM on May 18, 2010


"In their haste to sell products, the dairy industry has created an obsession over calcium that has become, in effect, a major contributor to the suffering and death of more than one billion people annually on Planet Earth from diseases of overnutrition—obesity, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and diabetes. "

Er, I don't drink milk for the calcium. I drink it as a convenient and tasty source of calories with a good macronutrient ratio.

"Consistently, when populations of people who eat different diets are compared, rates of hip fractures increase with increasing animal protein consumption (including dairy products). For example, people from the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand have the highest rates of osteoporosis. The lowest rates are among people who eat the fewest animal-derived foods (these people are also on lower calcium diets)—like the people from rural Asia and rural Africa."

People from the USA have high rates of osteoperosis... because they consume too much animal protein?
posted by ludwig_van at 12:54 PM on May 18, 2010


nutritious != healthy.


there, now. better?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:00 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why on earth can't people just drink water? To me nothing else tastes as good or is a thirst-quenching.

A previous thread explained some people's dislike of plain water... Personally I agree with you, but it is not at all uncommon to need flavor.

I kind of wish this list had been at least slightly more moderate - a lot of these "drinks" were pretty over the top, and anyone who thinks a peanut butter and ice cream float or whatever it is, is just to quench their thirst, is obviously not paying attention. But some of the more in-between drinks, like sodas, vitamin waters, and iced teas, can become invisible calories. If you get used to drinking soda, it's easy to forget you're basically having dessert with every meal...
posted by mdn at 1:10 PM on May 18, 2010


Here's more about how food preferences are formed in young children and how it carries over to adulthood:

DEVELOPMENT OF FOOD PREFERENCES

"Whether genetic predispositions are manifested in food preferences that foster healthy diets depends on the eating environment, including food availability and child-feeding practices of the adults. Unfortunately, in the United States today, the ready availability of energy-dense foods, high in sugar, fat, and salt, provides an eating environment that fosters food preferences inconsistent with dietary guidelines, which can promote excess weight gain and obesity."

The Influence of Early Experience withVanillin on Food Preference Later in Life

"Does very early experience exert a strong influence on later preferences? In 1992 (Pollmer, 1992) it was suggested that the bottle milk fed to newborns and small babies had been flavored with vanilla for many years in Germany. The question arose whether this would influence the preference of bottle-fed persons in later life. It was supposed that such persons would have a greater preference for vanilla-flavored foods. Since there were also some indications from other applied research that men prefer vanilla flavor more than women, it was decided to take this possible factor also into account."

"A study with 133 adults, who had been breast-fed or bottle-fed after birth, shows that neonatal experience with vanilla influences preferences for other foods in later life."

posted by VikingSword at 1:26 PM on May 18, 2010


SpiffyRob: "DRINK THIS FUCKING BEER NOW."

"Now you hold the gun on me, and I'll take a drink."
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:39 PM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Your taste preferences are determined by the age of 5 or so. It takes a lot of work to alter this, or years of living elsewhere and exposure to different cuisines. Of course, for most people this doesn't happen, and they're stuck with whatever formed their taste early on. Given how often fast food is fed to youngsters here, you can understand why most people find loads of sugar, salt etc. to be highly rewarding.

desuetude: "Most people's taste preferences change significantly from what they liked at 5. We start out favoring sweet things (like breast milk) but even if you only count the bitterness of coffee and alcohol, that's still a dramatic change in preferences."

It's easy to oversimplify here. You learn to like certain tastes as a young child - this does not mean that you cannot learn to like a broader palate of tastes later on... this is a change but not necessarily a disowning of your childhood tastes - after all, not many kids drink alcohol or coffee, so starting to like that is a change, but that doesn't make you stop liking the sugar you liked as a kid. That's more of an addition than a substitution. It's not "I used to like sweet stuff, now I only like bitter stuff", it's more "I still like sweet stuff, but I also learned to like bitter stuff".

Early exposure to certain amounts of sugar, salt etc. has a formative impact in that it seems to establish norms, "this much sugar is normal", "this is how sweet it's supposed to taste", etc. Growing up with different norms, you are likely to react to differences here as "not normal, too sweet (or not sweet enough)".

Anecdote: when I first arrived in CA, I found the pastries too sweet, and so I sought out "ethnic" bakeries, figuring that those would be closer to what I craved. I was shocked that the poppy seed pastries sold in the local Jewish shops looked exactly the same, but were significantly more sweet - when I talked to the bakers, I was told that they adjusted the sugar amount for local tastes, otherwise they would not be able to sell their pastry! In other words, people of different cultures seem to have their "sweet" detectors (and "salt" etc.) set at different levels - not really that surprising, I guess.
posted by VikingSword at 1:47 PM on May 18, 2010


This whole thing reminds me of the billboard I saw recently, which was advertising a twin-pack of two 50-ounce bottles of Coke. The tagline? "Enough for your meal."

What meal needs three-quarters of a gallon of soda?
posted by KathrynT at 2:17 PM on May 18, 2010


Any beer snob will point out that they're comparing apples to oranges. Barleywine and a smoked stout are not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination. It's like telling someone to eat rice cakes instead of steak.

If you're drinking to get drunk, beer's a bad deal in general. Wine or liquor will do it for less calories. Meanwhile, you'd need to drink MORE Guiness to get as drunk as you do on Bigfoot. If you're drinking to savor and enjoy the beer for its own sake, why are you picking the beer solely on calories? There are a lot of bad light beers out there.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:54 PM on May 18, 2010


Diet soda tastes extremely bitter to me when I'm actually hungry or thirsty, like after a vigorous bike ride. Somehow I stop buying into the illusion that it's good and nourishing.

PS: re beer post: I'm not big on drinking to get drunk. In case you couldn't tell, I'm big on drinking beer for flavor. To fit it into my diet, I tend to drink one beer at a time, and not everyday.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:02 PM on May 18, 2010


.....I'm not getting the article to load. I only get a few paragraphs about how "we never make our own lemonade and we never drink water from the tap", but there's no way to go to a page 2 or anything.

What am I doing wrong?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:40 PM on May 18, 2010


Or has the web site magically sensed that I do in fact make my own iced tea, lemonade, and that I do drink from the tap, and so it thinks "oooh, you don't need to read this after all" and is just showing me blank space?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:41 PM on May 18, 2010


DU, make a pot of (decaffeinated for me) tea, using 4 tea bags and plenty of water. Add 1 can concentrated lemonade, plus 1 (of 3 suggested) cans of water. Pour over lots of ice to cool it and provide more water. Refreshing tealade that's not too sweet.

That's traditionally called an Arnold Palmer.

Good to know if you're a bartender ...
posted by krinklyfig at 5:01 PM on May 18, 2010


I can't get it to load either. I'm in Chrome on Windows 7. I read the list before, though, so I felt confident enough to comment.

However, before their "Drink this!" beer was Guinness, which, while certainly not a barleywine, is a beer that tastes great for its caloric content (about 125 calories, IIRC). Apparently, they swapped it out with a nasty nut brown ale.

Anyway, all this talk about beer has me craving a beer. This article is going to make me gain weight.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:04 PM on May 18, 2010


In other words, people of different cultures seem to have their "sweet" detectors (and "salt" etc.) set at different levels - not really that surprising, I guess.

If you're used to eating food with sugar or HFCS, try cutting it out entirely for a while, like at least a few months. After a while you'll discover that the refined stuff you used to like before now tastes way too sweet, and you'll start liking the taste of naturally sweet foods like carrots better. There are cultural differences, but taste preferences (especially for junk) can be learned and unlearned.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:04 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Warning: Life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease. No pleasure is worth forgoing for an extra couple months in the geriatrics ward. Fuck these people and drink what you want.
posted by jonmc at 5:14 PM on May 18, 2010


But that's pastry in the European version - much, much lower in sugar content

Japan as well.

When I was married to my Japanese husband, I frequently received very expensive boxes of cookies from the in-laws. Imagine a cookie with all the butter and all the sugar removed, but individually wrapped liked tiny presents in a tin box with tasteful English phrases such as "Delightful ecstasy." Sweet in the afternoon your repose." "Lovely time it is mine."

I would be curious to taste them now that I have removed all the sugar from my diet. They still wouldn't be buttery though.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:16 PM on May 18, 2010


No pleasure is worth forgoing for an extra couple months in the geriatrics ward.

Yeah, but you drink some of that shit and it isn't a matter of a few extra months in a geri ward, but years shooting insulin and operating at massive sub-optimal level.

I like a lot of what you say jonmc but I think that's a bit inane.
posted by edgeways at 5:29 PM on May 18, 2010


I'll drink yours then.
posted by jonmc at 5:35 PM on May 18, 2010


You know, I'm glad I finally managed to train myself to enjoy Pepsi Max over standard Pepsi. But the Smoothie King Peanut Power Plus Grape, with 1498 calories per 40 ounce serve? I would love to try one of those. Once.

What's the consensus on booze? Should I be drinking more of it? My drink of choice these days is good Japanese sake, which is surprisingly low in calories. But on the wine front, should one go with white or red wines? I'd probably drink a lot more Sam Adams Boston Lager if it wasn't twenty five fucking dollars a six pack. God, what time is it? Only half ten? Jesus.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:35 PM on May 18, 2010


Hmm. Things like this are always triggers for 'what the fuck, America?' comments and smug summaries of how healthy the poster thinks their consumption habits are.

[pause]

What the fuck, America?

I'm missing out on the tasty, I guess, but I drink

-water (sometimes with a squirt of lemon juice if I'm feeling saucy)
-coffee I brew myself (with a bit of milk)
-green tea I brew myself with lovely little crinkly leaves
-bog-standard fizzy lager beer, once a week (in admittedly large quantity)
-the occasional bottle of unflavoured soda water

I feel like a freakin' monk looking at all this stuff! Man, I think I'd probably be fatter than a very fat thing if I lived in North America again.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:38 PM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I had a large Mountain Dew Slurpee the other day. I got a brainfreeze and a caffiene buzz at the same time. It was cool. I drank a can of orange Joose on the subway home to mellow out.
posted by jonmc at 5:40 PM on May 18, 2010


I don't understand all of the people I know who just can't drink tap water. They prefer something flavored, and will drink bottled water if absolutely 'necessary'.
posted by codacorolla at 5:42 PM on May 18, 2010


What meal needs three-quarters of a gallon of soda?

You're pretty naive, KathrynT. Obviously you need three quarters of a gallon of soda to wash down two Carl's Jnr. Double Six Dollar Burgers, a KFC Double-Down chaser, and the recommended pound of fries with ranch dressing and Sara Lee Chocolate Double-Frosted Fudge Cheesecake. Maybe your mouth can produce sufficient saliva to get all that down your throat but not everybody is like you, are they?
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:42 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll drink yours then.

jonnmc will. Drink. Your. Milkshake! He will drink it right up!
posted by P.o.B. at 5:54 PM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


So what you're saying is that if I have a milkshake, and he has a milkshake, and he has a straw...?
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:15 PM on May 18, 2010


At the end of the day I sometimes get tired of drinking plain water; this is the perfect time for whiskey-flavored water: 8 oz water, 1 or 2 TB of whiskey. I may or may not also have a shot of whiskey, but the flavored water is tasty by itself.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:16 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is why I only drink luke-warn whiskey with a few human hairs in it.
posted by bardic at 6:46 PM on May 18, 2010


I'll tell you what meal requires 3/4 gallon of liquid--one with an assload of salt in it.
posted by box at 7:00 PM on May 18, 2010


Every morning, I see the same obese people walk into my office with their frozen whipped cream topped Starbucks abomination and I'll try to make a jokey, yet hopeful comment like "Ah, starting the day off with dessert, eh? Good plan!" and the response is always the same "No, it's just my morning coffee."

I am very fat and I've never drunk any of those "bad" drinks. Like the rest of you self-righteously virtuous people, I mostly drink coffee, tea, and water, though I sometimes go through a mild Coke phase and then out of it again. My blood pressure is perfect, my blood sugar and cholesterol have always been absolutely in the normal range, my health is great.

So you work with fat people who like big frothy cappuccino drinks. Who cares? I used to work with a very thin woman who ate fast food for lunch every day and literally went through almost an 8-pack of Mountain Dew a day, back when you could get it in, what were they, 16-oz? glass bottles And nobody gave her any shit for it. Why? Because she was thin.

Stop wasting your own time and mental energy noticing what other people eat, judging them for it, and feeling virtuous by comparison. It's not necessary, it just feeds our fucked-up cultural anxiety about food and weight, and it does nobody any good.
posted by not that girl at 8:11 PM on May 18, 2010 [9 favorites]


It's not necessary, it just feeds our fucked-up cultural anxiety about food and weight, and it does nobody any good.

Actually when the First world (US, UK, Australia, etc.) is collectively fatter and heavier than the rest of humankind since the dawn of time if you took them all and put them on a really big scale; and while we're throwing out countless tons of perfectly good food and drink every single hour of every single day; and while we are bludgeoning entire environments for the sake of high fructose corn syrup (basically a poison) and feed for the millions of cattle that are brutally slaughtered annually so that we can shove them in our pink glistening mouths; and while we're drinking buckets of flavoured cream that in and of themselves provide are more than sufficient for our daily caloric requirements; and while millions of Third Worlders are rolling around dying in big piles of shit because they not only can't get enough to eat, they can't get anything to eat; all for the sake of the fucking...global economy or whatever it is or oh we don't want to offend anybody because of "cultural anxiety", then by god I will continue to judge the hell out of people because my subjective disgust outweighs (ha!) any hand-fluttering objective notions of "we shouldn't make others feel bad". I don't begrude somebody who wants to sit down and eat an entire box of Krispy Kreme - jeez, I almost managed it myself one time before I puked all down my shirt - but it seems pretty ridiculous to judge people as "energy wasters" when they are judging other people for being "energy hoarders". I've seen chins that could power aircraft carriers for a week.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:38 PM on May 18, 2010


Maybe you just shouldn't judge other people because you're not very good at it then?
posted by jessamyn at 9:02 PM on May 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am very fat and I've never drunk any of those "bad" drinks. Like the rest of you self-righteously virtuous people, I mostly drink coffee, tea, and water, though I sometimes go through a mild Coke phase and then out of it again. My blood pressure is perfect, my blood sugar and cholesterol have always been absolutely in the normal range, my health is great.

I eat pretty darn well, and like I smugged upthread, drink little but beer that has any calories, but my blood pressure and all that are high normal, but as I hit my mid-40's am becoming increasingly plump. Plump and stately. It's mildly worrisome, given my good (if pasta-rich) diet.

Like I said, though, I think if I were in America or Canada still and surrounded by all the temptation, I suspect I'd be very large and unwell indeed. A 2000 calorie 'drink' is nearly the same as my average total daily intake.

Stop wasting your own time and mental energy noticing what other people eat, judging them for it, and feeling virtuous by comparison. It's not necessary, it just feeds our fucked-up cultural anxiety about food and weight, and it does nobody any good.

No desire to get into an argument -- least of all in one of our regularly-scheduled 'fatness' arguments on Metafilter that I usually avoid -- but I do think that while it behooves us nothing to judge other individuals for their choices in terms of food, there is a pernicious cultural stream in some modern western societies, in particular in North America, one fed by advertising and industrial food production and more, and that needs some dismantling. The slightly tricky part is to keep the effort separated from, as you suggest, picking on individual people who may or may not be making 'bad' decisions in terms of nutrition as a result.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:37 PM on May 18, 2010


I thought the worst drink was the Hitlertini.
posted by klangklangston at 9:47 PM on May 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


I thought the worst drink was the Hitlertini.

There is no excuse for me enjoying this comment as much as I do.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:52 PM on May 18, 2010


This whole thing reminds me of the billboard I saw recently, which was advertising a twin-pack of two 50-ounce bottles of Coke. The tagline? "Enough for your meal."

What meal needs three-quarters of a gallon of soda?


I've seen that billboard too and boggled. Major system shift. MAJOR.

If you're used to eating food with sugar or HFCS, try cutting it out entirely for a while, like at least a few months. After a while you'll discover that the refined stuff you used to like before now tastes way too sweet, and you'll start liking the taste of naturally sweet foods like carrots better.

This can be effective even if it's only one thing from which you remove sugar. My vote would be peanut butter.

At the end of the day I sometimes get tired of drinking plain water; this is the perfect time for whiskey-flavored water: 8 oz water, 1 or 2 TB of whiskey. I may or may not also have a shot of whiskey, but the flavored water is tasty by itself.

Not so long ago, I "joked" about creating non-alcoholic bourbon so that I could drink it at work all day. Perhaps it's time to make the dream a reality.

I eat pretty darn well, and like I smugged upthread, drink little but beer that has any calories

Red wine has less calories and resveratrol. I love beer but I made the switch a ways back. I've always liked wine, though...
posted by mrgrimm at 10:11 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


VikingSword, I don't disagree that cultural norms influence what one considers appropriate regarding levels of sweetness, but I think that your statements overstated the case. A lot of work to alter. Years of living elsewhere. Stuck with whatever formed their taste early on.

I'd agree with, oh, "some effort" to alter, exposure to different cuisines, and "comfortable with" whatever formed their taste early on.

The vanillin thing is an interesting case, but I wonder how much the specific early exposure to vanillin was the culprit, and how much is the continued exposure to vanillin, and how you even separate the two regarding the power of nostalgia.
posted by desuetude at 10:37 PM on May 18, 2010


I don't understand all of the people I know who just can't drink tap water. They prefer something flavored, and will drink bottled water if absolutely 'necessary'.

I dunno, but my husband's eighty-five-year-old grandmother doesn't like plain water, so anecdotally, I can't blame this all on modern advertising.
posted by desuetude at 10:39 PM on May 18, 2010


So.... Jeremiah Weed's Sweet Tea Vodka isn't on the list? Alright then, party's on!

On another point, tap water can really differ from one locale to another. Those of you being all smug about your love of tap water -- it may just be that you live in an area with tap water that isn't so funky and gross. I don't think there's anything as delicious as cold, crisp, clean water... But what I get from my tap is hardly that.
posted by Ms. Saint at 11:12 PM on May 18, 2010


vikingsword and desuetude, just as an anecdote, having lived in the land of cookies without butter or sugar for Years, I am aware that my tastes have changed a small amount. Of course, relative to people who have lived here all there lives, my consumption habits are bizarre and amusing to them. On the other hand, after my first couple years here I found it impossible to eat candy bars in America, as they were just too sweet.

Portion sizes too. If I just visit for a couple days or a week, usually I can't eat half of an entree in America. Last year, when I was home for a month and a half, however, I gradually got used to eating American sized portions again, and managed to put on several kilos of weight. Of course, some of that is due to the fact that I was home, and thinking "Hey, I can eat this! We don't have it in Japan!" and pigging out. It's not my fault, I swear. Carson's really is the place for ribs!
posted by Ghidorah at 11:12 PM on May 18, 2010


I also like the "Don't Drink Yourself Fat" campaign featured on NYC subway billboards.
posted by funkiwan at 1:32 AM on May 19, 2010


Also for whatever reason artificial sweeteners don't seem to fix anything. I don't know why that is.

Your brain can apparently detect sugar further down the digestive track. It's not just the taste of it in your mouth that affects your craving and satisfaction when it comes to ingesting sugar. Basically, your brain knows you're faking it. Perhaps give it a bit of discipline, then a small amount of what it really wants.


Sadly, yes -- 100% fruit juices are still primarily fructose (aka bad sugar) and water. Not being carbonated, they probably have less overall sugar than most sodas, but they are all fructose and it looks like that's the worst bit of the sugar. It's not like you shouldn't drink them -- just be aware that drinking juice isn't that much better than drinking soda, and it should be drunk in moderation like alcohol

But fresh juice (as in made a few seconds ago) also contains loads of nutrients that you won't find in a soda can. It may not be as good as eating whole fruit, but it's still much better than a highly-processed can of soda. And if you need the energy, then it's a great thing to drink.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 2:53 AM on May 19, 2010


When I can't sleep I listen to Bill Bryson audio books, because he has such a gentle, soothing voice, and I'm grateful to this thread and in particular this comment for confirming something I idly wondered when Bill told me about it last night: that cup-holders are just as important to American car buyers today as they were in the mid-90s, when he wrote his column.

The ludicrousness of the idea that cup-holders are integral to the car-buying process didn't prevent me from sleeping, but I did dream that I worked in a Slurpee factory.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:55 AM on May 19, 2010


high fructose corn syrup (basically a poison)

BTW: I'm still waiting for an explanation of how the criterion according to which High Fructose Corn Syrup is a poison don't also make hemoglobin a poison.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:40 AM on May 19, 2010


I thought the worst drink was the Hitlertini.

Not to mention the Mussolinitini.
posted by jonmc at 5:23 AM on May 19, 2010


If you're drinking to get drunk, beer's a bad deal in general. Wine or liquor will do it for less calories.

Calories, sure, but not less money. Beer (specifically malt liquor) packs the biggest ban for the buck, no?.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:39 AM on May 19, 2010


Cheap vodka is pretty cheap, and has way more alcohol content.
posted by smackfu at 6:52 AM on May 19, 2010


On another point, tap water can really differ from one locale to another.

I went to Duluth, MN once for a wedding, and what comes out of the tap there is so delightfully clear and crisp, it should have its own national treasure designation and tourism board.
posted by palliser at 7:01 AM on May 19, 2010


The relevant Bill Bryson column.

Interesting tidbit:
What is certainly true is that not putting cupholders in a car is a serious mistake. I read a couple of years ago that Volvo had to redesign all its cars for the American market for this very reason. Volvo's engineers had foolishly thought that what buyers were looking for was a reliable engine, side-impact bars and heated seats, when in fact what they craved was little trays into which to insert their Slurpees. So a bunch of guys named Nils Nilsson and Lars Larsson were put to work designing cupholders into the system, and Volvo was thus saved from beverage ignominy, if not actual financial ruin.
posted by AceRock at 7:03 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought cars had cupholders so drivers could avoid traffic accidents resulting from hot coffee splashing out onto their panty-hosed thighs where they have precariously balanced their cup of coffee while shifting gears during a rush hour morning commute.

(It was just a fender bender. Everybody was okay.)
posted by thivaia at 7:21 AM on May 19, 2010


I don't think there's anything as delicious as cold, crisp, clean water... But what I get from my tap is hardly that.

Seriously, the unfiltered tap water in my town tastes and smells like it came out of a chlorinated swimming pool. Pur filter seems to clean it up nicely though.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:33 AM on May 19, 2010


...recent comments have alerted me to the fact that there are eight cupholders in my vehicle, which is meant to hold, at most, five people. Eight! Sadly, none of those cupholders is big enough to hold my aluminum water bottle *sniff*.
posted by Never teh Bride at 8:26 AM on May 19, 2010


None of these is really surprising. I'll blow your mind with this little gem I stumbled on. Trader Joe's has lots of little 16 oz. beverages in the cooler. These are mostly juice drinks and smoothies: they're supposed to be healthy. I picked up the "Protein with Pizazz" drink (90% juice) and was horrified to discover the bottle has over 400 calories. It has no added sugar. All that is just juices of various types.
posted by chairface at 11:41 AM on May 19, 2010


> These are mostly juice drinks and smoothies: they're supposed to be healthy.

Again, nutritional needs vary person to person and do NOT all hinge on low caloric intake. "Healthy" as a one size fits all concept is junk, and I hate seeing it facilely trotted out here.

I would assume people who are in the market for protein infused drinks aren't too worried about consuming low-calorie options. High protein foods are necessarily rich in calories.

For an ovo-lacto vegetarian in search of weight gain or injury recuperation, this might be a very appealing choice, if it tastes better than ensure, anyway... at 16g of protein per 220 KCal, it certainly rivals nutrition bars.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:13 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sadly, none of those cupholders is big enough to hold my aluminum water bottle *sniff*.

I've had luck with using the space between my e-brake and the edge of the passenger seat for exactly this.
posted by quin at 12:22 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've had luck with using the space between my e-brake and the edge of the passenger seat for exactly this.

Yes. The original "cup holder"! (Or second, after a 96oz. Slurpee between the knees.)

I was a little surprised when I bought a recent used car model (2008) station wagon that there were only 2 cup holders, both between the two front seats.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:16 AM on May 20, 2010


Again, nutritional needs vary person to person and do NOT all hinge on low caloric intake. "Healthy" as a one size fits all concept is junk, and I hate seeing it facilely trotted out here.

It's certainly true that caloric needs vary. But that doesn't mean that regularly consuming sugar-loaded smoothies is a wise choice for anyone. I think chairface is right -- people buy these juice drinks and smoothies thinking they're making a healthy choice, when in many ways they aren't better than the "unhealthy" alternatives like soda.

I would assume people who are in the market for protein infused drinks aren't too worried about consuming low-calorie options. High protein foods are necessarily rich in calories.

That's not the case. 1g of protein or 1g of carbs contains 4 cal, and 1g of fat contains 9 cal. High-protein doesn't mean high-calorie. And of course a food can be high in protein and high in calories without being high in sugar. There are lots of people who want to get lots of protein while still restricting caloric intake.

For an ovo-lacto vegetarian in search of weight gain or injury recuperation, this might be a very appealing choice, if it tastes better than ensure, anyway... at 16g of protein per 220 KCal, it certainly rivals nutrition bars.

16g of protein per 220 calories means 30% calories from protein. Nutrition bars are crappy too. As an athlete I supplement protein daily, and there are plenty of options for doing so that involve minimal processing and avoid large amounts of sugar.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:01 PM on May 20, 2010


I would assume people who are in the market for protein infused drinks aren't too worried about consuming low-calorie options. High protein foods are necessarily rich in calories.

It depends if you differentiate between the people who compete or not. There are the people who choke down the dry-as-hell chicken breast without skin and tuna, or there are people who are shoving whatever high protein food they can in their gullet. For most recreational athletes, and including off-season athletes, the latter is generally the case.

If you look at a cup of non-fat milk it's 60/40 carb-protein split so I'm not sure why some people are so agitated about defending it. Also it's not uncommon people have problems with it, so i don't think it's really a great standard as something healthy to drink.

Just make it simple, stick with water.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:53 PM on May 20, 2010


Actually -- something to think about is that even pure fruit juice is largely sugar and water, and it's 100% fructose (which is worse for you than cane sugar or HFCS).

Time for a quick quote from Wikipedia on fructose to highlight just how silly this "X is bad for you" attitude to food:
"Fructose is often recommended for diabetics because it does not trigger the production of insulin by pancreatic ß cells, probably because ß cells have low levels of GLUT5. Fructose has a very low glycemic index of 19 ± 2, compared with 100 for glucose and 68 ± 5 for sucrose. Fructose is also seventy-three percent sweeter than sucrose at room temperature, so diabetics can use less of it."
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 12:50 AM on May 21, 2010


that is some bad science you spout soupisgoodfood
posted by caddis at 5:08 AM on May 21, 2010


But you cannot deny that soup is good food. Damn good food.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:17 AM on May 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Soupisgoodfood -- Opinions on fructose have been revised very recently -- Fructose may have a low glycemic index (which is actually part of the problem, re consumption), but it really should not be reccomended for diabetics because it is put down to fat much more quickly -- and obesity is a leading cause of diabetes. Diabetics should really pursue a low-carbohydrate/sugar diet (and I'm saying this as the daughter of a diabetic who has had to go on a radical carb-free diet). There are better sweetening options.
posted by jb at 6:41 AM on May 21, 2010


depends on the soup.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:32 AM on May 21, 2010


I only ever buy a footlong sub if I'm on a long journey, and know I won't have the time or energy to eat at the other end. That Old Stone drink looks a perfect equivalent.

I only drink water, tea and maybe a bit of red wine or juice now and again - i haven't drunk soda for about 12 years, after realising one day that I just didn't really like it - but I do have a weakness for those drinks that are essentially puddings. Like McDonalds, I don't have them very often, but mmm, strawberry shortcake frappuccino. We have a shop here that will put anything into a milkshake and right now I really want a Jamaica Ginger Cake and black cherry shake.
posted by mippy at 3:21 AM on May 22, 2010


Perhaps it is outdated and wrong, but it is surely no worse than the idea that fructose is worse than HFCS or cane sugar. I agree that people are having too much sugar, myself included. But the idea that one type of sugar is "bad" is just silly, especially when you ignore the context of where the sugar is coming from.

I'm really an advocate of Micheal Pollen, in that I think people are too focused on particular nutrients and not on the whole food. When you end up saying that fresh fruit juice is worse than a can of Coke because you are comparing some of it components rather than looking at the whole, including the context in which you take it, you have a problem.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 8:00 PM on May 22, 2010


I didn't say that a glass of juice is worse than a coke. I said that it is not much better. Juice is not a whole food -- it's primarily the sugar of the fruit, with the fibre removed.

And even then, it's not something one should never eat. But doctors are thinking that part of the current crisis of childhood obesity is due to fruit juice as well as other high calorie drinks. A small glass of orange juice has as many calories as a pudding snack, though it's less filling.

Fruit juice should be a sometimes food -- like pudding snacks and cookies.
posted by jb at 7:24 AM on May 24, 2010


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