The sugar conspiracy
April 7, 2016 3:33 PM   Subscribe

In 1972, a British scientist sounded the alarm that sugar—and not fat—was the greatest danger to our health. But his findings were ridiculed and his reputation ruined. How did the world’s top nutrition scientists get it so wrong for so long?
posted by Johnny Wallflower (128 comments total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
 
Previously on MeFi
posted by lalochezia at 3:43 PM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am struggling a bit to get past the way the writer is somewhat too closely copying a lot of Adam Curtis's sylistic tics.
posted by howfar at 3:43 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Book.
posted by IndigoJones at 3:48 PM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can knock back a 520g - 1.1lb - bag of "party mix" jellies without even thinking about it. Sure, at the end of it I'll probably be like "well, that was a bad idea", but the point is it's very easy to do. I suspect (I've never tested this) that I would have a harder time knocking back a pound of duck fat or ghee. After a couple of...spoonfuls?...my brain would be telling me to take a break and go get some fresh air. The old "calorie density" argument against fat - 9 calories in a gram, as opposed to 4 in everything else - always conveniently overlooked the fact that nobody was ever eating a pound of solid fat a day. Except maybe cavemen, but those fuckers were yoked.

Long story short, fry up some kale and garlic and chillis in some bacon dripping or duck fat, then scramble some eggs through it. Add tumeric, onion powder, and cayenne. That shit's is tasty.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:50 PM on April 7, 2016 [66 favorites]


Giant truckloads of industry money?

I'm going to guess giant truckloads of industry money.
posted by ryanshepard at 3:53 PM on April 7, 2016 [48 favorites]


Not this time. It was nutritionists what done it to themselves, willfully blind to evidence.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:56 PM on April 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


I can knock back a 520g - 1.1lb - bag of "party mix" jellies

*envisions flashing lights, thumping dance music*
posted by indubitable at 4:00 PM on April 7, 2016 [70 favorites]


Indeed, the moral of the story was more about hubris than anything else. Industry is featured very little; this is a reminder that while science may not have an agenda, people do. I'm curious to read more about the findings in the article: that research tends to move more quickly as renowned figureheads leave their fields — taking their obstructionism with them.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:03 PM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Just me in an empty hall with strobe lights and New Order, spinning around in an office chair, eatin' them jellies.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:04 PM on April 7, 2016 [117 favorites]


My basic problem is that, having now been told that the last delicious deadly killer food is not, in fact, lethal poison, I'm sort of not inclined to trust the nutrition folks when they declare a new, delicious deadly killer food. At some point, they've all completely lost credibility with me, and I'm just going to eat whatever I want in moderation.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:05 PM on April 7, 2016 [64 favorites]


If you read the article, this isn't a new idea. It's a very old one that was systematically prevented from being considered.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:06 PM on April 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


Just me in an empty hall with strobe lights and New Order, spinning around in an office chair, eatin' them jellies.

They weren't by chance Tutti Frutti flavored, were they?
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:08 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sugar is dangerous because we insist on putting it in abso-fucking-lutely everything we can and then make the portions borderline insane. One portion has roughly doubled in the past forty years. Soda? Back in the day a serving of soda used to be a 6.5 ounce bottle. Now the standard size is twenty ounces of soda! Triple the calories from a single bottle! Looks like great value for the consumer but when your arteries get torn up because your blood is acid syrup? Those hospital bills are going to offset it and then some. Then you have to consider the intangibles like forever being ineligible for Dancing With the Stars because they took your foot.

But it's not just sugar either. Back in the day? A cheeseburger used to be a 2oz patty and these days you're more typically going to find a third or even half a god damned pound. Twice the calories! Fancy a trip to olive garden? They just heap cheap spaghetti onto your plate and slather it with sauce and meatballs. Twice or even three times the calories there.

We're not fat just because of sugar. We're fat because our diets suck and the portion sizes of these shitty diets have been increased so gradually we've basically become calorie sucking machines over the past forty years.
posted by Talez at 4:09 PM on April 7, 2016 [55 favorites]


I seriously think instead of taxing the hell out of bad stuff, just legislate that any food you offer you have to also offer a "sensible portion" size with healthy sides priced at the same equivalent price.

Want a salad that isn't half a chicken on a garden bed on your plate drenched in dressing? You get to pay half price for a sensible plate with a 1/4 lb of chicken and a small serving of olive oil.
posted by Talez at 4:16 PM on April 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


My basic problem is that, having now been told that the last delicious deadly killer food is not, in fact, lethal poison, I'm sort of not inclined to trust the nutrition folks when they declare a new, delicious deadly killer food. At some point, they've all completely lost credibility with me, and I'm just going to eat whatever I want in moderation.

I'm plenty convinced by the anti-sugar arguments - I think pretty much everyone agrees with that by now - but less so by the pro-saturated-fat arguments so far? But I don't know it really does seem like you can find a book and a study and a counterexample for pretty much any nutritional hypothesis you can think of right now and it's totally overwhelming trying to sort it out with a skeptical mindset.
posted by atoxyl at 4:21 PM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


The problem I see is that the same people who were beating the anti-sugar drum back in the '70s and '80s are (in my personal experience) now the people beating the anti-vaxx drum.

Of course I did get to wondering recently if anyone has bothered to add up the economic costs of "The Four Food Groups" and "The Food Pyramid" using standard statistical values for years of life lost...
posted by straw at 4:30 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


You keep your hands off my third of a pound burger, you damn dirty ape!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:38 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


We're fat because our diets suck and the portion sizes of these shitty diets have been increased so gradually we've basically become calorie sucking machines over the past forty years.

Well yeah but might one reason for the steadily-increasing portion sizes be that people are hungry all the time from eating sugary diets with not enough fat in them to reach satiety and so demand more more more? Like turbid dahlia's portion size of duck fat is nowhere near his portion size of jellies.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 4:39 PM on April 7, 2016 [35 favorites]


I pretty much never add sugar to anything or eat sweets, but it's already in so many products it's hard to avoid entirely - even bread has sugar in it in NA if you don't specifically go for a wholemeal or fancy rye.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 4:41 PM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


The book that turned me around when I couldn't figure out why my body was falling apart was Life Without Bread, which probably escaped some of the shitstorm mentioned in the article because it was originally published in Germany and only translated into English in the late 1990's. Dr. Lutz has his own scathing condemnation of the seven nations study.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:50 PM on April 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


A few years ago I watched the Robert Lustig video mentioned in the OP (and the first link: The Bitter Truth About Sugar). Lustig is an endocrinologist, and it was the first time I ever saw a nutrition argument that included science I actually recognized from Biochemistry classes. It was pretty persuasive.

I have tried to cut out sugar ever since, but yesterday I was at home with a batch of homemade sweets that someone forced on me and I ate them all...
posted by maggiemaggie at 4:50 PM on April 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


this thread led me to some googling which led me to:

this

I'm a monster, bye everybody
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:52 PM on April 7, 2016 [40 favorites]


Teicholz was invited to participate in a panel discussion on nutrition science at the National Food Policy conference, in Washington DC, only to be promptly disinvited, after her fellow panelists made it clear that they would not share a platform with her.

Unfortunately, this is how science is done.

No really, look into the history of medicine and how vehemently the best surgeons of the day disdained and objected to washing hands prior to surgery.
posted by sammyo at 4:55 PM on April 7, 2016 [15 favorites]


What really turned me from sugar was this FPP where an ICU nurse describes what happens to your body when you have diabetes. At work, we made a sign featuring one of the quotes and put it above our candy bowl: " The syrupy-sweet blood is just fudge sauce on the leg-flesh sundae that bacteria love to eat."
posted by tofu_crouton at 4:56 PM on April 7, 2016 [26 favorites]


Hey, don't just blame portion size. Blame the idea popular in Anglo-style countries that all beverages must be sweet.

You know what's considered "diet iced tea" in America? Tea with artificial sweetener added. Trying to find unsweetened tea feels at times like you're hitting up the refrigerated case of your local convenience store in search of a cruet of soy sauce, and can occasionally garner similar reactions when asked for.

Admittedly, I am simply grumpy about a lot of things, and could simply drink water, but plain water is boring and for chumps obviously
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:59 PM on April 7, 2016 [13 favorites]


I can't handle milk. Well, I could, from my mother. Other people drink milk so habitually the thorough weirdness of it is mundane. It's milk from another species! How big does a calf grow before it's weened?

We've had dairy for millennia now and most populations have adapted to digest it (not me). Refined sugar has only been around for a few hundred years, and we're having it with everything. No-where in nature can you find something with the sugar concentration of a jumbo Snicker's bar. We didn't evolve in an environment with this abundance of sugar.
posted by adept256 at 5:01 PM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I pretty much never add sugar to anything or eat sweets, but it's already in so many products it's hard to avoid entirely - even bread has sugar in it in NA if you don't specifically go for a wholemeal or fancy rye.

Never mind the sugar, white bread or white rice already has a glycaemic index close to sugar. The indictment of sugar should also include excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates which rapidly get converted to glucose in our bodies anyway.
posted by xdvesper at 5:03 PM on April 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


> Nowhere in nature can you find something with the sugar concentration of a jumbo Snicker's bar.

Pure honey has a greater "sugar concentration" than a Snicker's Bar.

Too much sugar is very bad for you. Whether or not it's "natural" has nothing to do with it.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:04 PM on April 7, 2016 [40 favorites]


Genuinely surprised to see no references to farm subsidies, the corn lobby or U.S. agricultural policy anywhere in that article.
posted by mhoye at 5:06 PM on April 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


Genuinely surprised to see no references to farm subsidies, the corn lobby or U.S. agricultural policy anywhere in that article.

Just barely scratches the surface of the institutional politics at all, really; the author seems all too eager to psychologize rather than politicize the history of science. Still, it's a start.
posted by RogerB at 5:22 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Like turbid dahlia's portion size of duck fat is nowhere near his portion size of jellies.

I reiterate: this is untested. It's a bullet I'm willing to try and take though. One of those real slow bullets that takes a half hour to pass through you.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:24 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you want to argue that the agricultural industry has played a role in shaping the government's official dietary guidelines, I'm not really going to protest. But if you think that Big Sugar has paid off the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, then I have a bridge all-natural fat-burning supplements to sell you.
posted by dephlogisticated at 5:24 PM on April 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


The indictment of sugar should also include excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates which rapidly get converted to glucose in our bodies anyway.

Oh xdvesper, you can take my potatoes from me when you pry them out of my cold dead hands, and I assume I've got some zombie/potato lich thing going on after I die so I'm not saying it's going to be easy. I mean rigor alone.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 5:26 PM on April 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


But if you think that Big Sugar has paid off the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association

Depends on what you mean by "paid off," I guess. Both groups do appear in the Coca-Cola funding disclosures released in the wake of the New York Times investigation of their practice of buying favorable research.
posted by RogerB at 5:36 PM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


*eats three foot pixie stick*
posted by jonmc at 5:36 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


This article is interesting, but I also feel some of it's language goes so hard in the other direction, like implying that a fatty diet is older and more natural (it's in breast milk!) Well yes, but a lot of sugar (lactose) is too. Obviously you shouldn't eat 5 fatty steaks a day, and you probably shouldn't drink 5 cans of coke every day either. Both extremes are bad and humans need both fat and carbohydrates to live.
posted by mosschief at 5:37 PM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


this thread led me to some googling which led me to:

this


oh my holy shit
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:41 PM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Big Sugar .
How the industry kept scientists from asking: Does sugar kill? (2012 article)
posted by adamvasco at 5:58 PM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


You know what's considered "diet iced tea" in America? Tea with artificial sweetener added. Trying to find unsweetened tea feels at times like you're hitting up the refrigerated case of your local convenience store in search of a cruet of soy sauce, and can occasionally garner similar reactions when asked for.
So... uh... aside from personal preference, what's wrong with artificially-sweetened tea?
Depends on what you mean by "paid off," I guess.
Receiving money in exchange for altering their position such that it disagrees with evidence.

And by that criteria I think you'd have a hard time saying they were "paid off".

This comes up all the time in lay-analysis of science, but just because someone receives a dollar via some path from a group does not mean that they are entirely beholden to said group.
posted by -1 at 5:59 PM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, what about the statin industry? If the link between heart disease and cholesterol is empirically broken, then why take statins? But it will be a cold day in hell before that class of drug is abandoned--the profits are astronomical.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:06 PM on April 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


-1, it's the widely shared notion that tea without a bunch of sugar in it is some crazy niche thing, where the closest America seems to get, usually, is the idea that one might be opposed to adding sugar to tea not because they just don't want a sweet drink, but instead because they are solely concerned with food energy content.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:14 PM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


One of the best science books I've ever read was "The Atkins Diet Revolution" - Doc Atkins tried really, really hard to sound like a sensationalist flim-flam man, but he kind of spoiled the effect by extensively footnoting actual clinical studies and endocrinology papers. He was a research and practicing doctor trying to treat ill patients without shame, guilt or shoddy science.

Some of the things that were true scientifically when he wrote the book are no longer true (specifically his prohibition on caffeine and his belief that shellfish were carb-free), but that is Science in Action - the larger message remains on point while the details resolve.

The one problem he could not figure out was what to do about recidivism. When you cheat a little on "The Atkins" (now out of fashion, we call it "the ketogenic diet" or "keto" now), you introduce a fuckton of starches and sugars ALONGSIDE massive quantities of fat as you struggle to stay the course. The yo-yo is amplified into morbid obesity at the top of the swing.

We need a drug that makes sweet or bready things taste like earwax. (Don't pretend you've never tasted your earwax, or the earwax of another. Cronuts needs to taste like that.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:22 PM on April 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Maybe I'm just going to the right restaurants, but I'm an American, and I can't remember the last time I asked for unsweetened tea in a restaurant and didn't get it without any hesitation.

My current tools in weaning myself off of sugary sodas are flavored seltzers and those squeeze bottles for flavored water. Both show up consistently as 0 calories, 0 sodium, 0 carbs, 0 sugars, and while all that carbonation probably isn't great for my system it's better for it than a Big Gulp of Coke. Unless Big Seltzer is plotting behind the scenes, anyway.
posted by delfin at 6:22 PM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


-1 - It's the idea that you can't enjoy a drink that isn't sweet. Welcome to the South.

My parents gave me a very hard time for enjoying fizzy mineral water. A very hard, mocking, anti-elitism-type hard time.
posted by amtho at 6:26 PM on April 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


Oh, I'm talking about pre-made bottled tea. Restaurants are no big deal, on account of how it's made in a big brewer thing in the back (or at least it was when I worked in a restaurant that served iced tea).

I've also grown to develop quite a taste for plain seltzer (or maybe with some bitters) so I guess it turns out I am eighty years old
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:27 PM on April 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


A 1 litre container of soda and bitters and an ice cold Red Bull used to be my standard line fuel.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:29 PM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you've never tried it, a 50/50 mix of soda and a normal soft drink is sometimes quite nice. You can make it at some self-serve soda fountains if they dispense soda water in addition to the syrupy drinks; I've had some success ordering it at restaurants, too (I promise I tip well when I order stuff like this -- and you should too!).
posted by amtho at 6:35 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


The tea thing must be regional. I drink bottled unsweetened iced tea on occasion, and I've never had trouble finding it when I want some.

I agree with the sentiment that the experts have lost some credibility with me, in the sense that it feels impossible to know what to believe is ok to eat. I'm pretty convinced on sugar, but in general the state of nutritional information is super frustrating, and the more I read the less I know what is accurate.
posted by primethyme at 6:36 PM on April 7, 2016


Receiving money in exchange for altering their position such that it disagrees with evidence.

The way it works is "deciding which studies to fund". Then people get published based on those studies, then those people get tenure based on those publications, then they write grant applications to the people who've given them grants in the past, then they get promoted for being able to bring in funding to the college effectively, and then they get to decide which lines of research are worth pursuing, and then they get to decide how those things get funded, because now there's a Body Of Evidence Saying X and Nobody Ever Got Tenure Advocating For Y.

An envelope-full-of-cash bribe is a bush league move.
posted by mhoye at 6:36 PM on April 7, 2016 [17 favorites]


While I remember all the low-fat craze, I feel like sugar has always been considered unhealthy? Is it just considered more unhealthy now? There was never a time in my life when I remember people saying "just eat lots of sugar! its great!". Whereas now there actually are people who seem to advocate eating gigantic amounts of fat (although kind of a nice).

I fully accept that sugar is bad for me, but I'm not going to stop eating it or even cut down much. (And cutting out bread is just ridiculous, thats like the basis of my entire diet).
posted by thefoxgod at 6:39 PM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


There was never a time in my life when I remember people saying "just eat lots of sugar! its great!".

It has been done
posted by thelonius at 6:44 PM on April 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


I agree with the sentiment that the experts have lost some credibility with me, in the sense that it feels impossible to know what to believe is ok to eat. I'm pretty convinced on sugar, but in general the state of nutritional information is super frustrating, and the more I read the less I know what is accurate.

Word. You'd think that we'd have this sorted out by now, but, no. Somewhat related, I've been wanting to start doing some exercise more ambitious than the walking and light yoga I have been doing, and it seems like there's so much dubious information out there. In that case though, it's mostly ordinary people disseminating their opinions about the One True Way to work out.
posted by thelonius at 6:51 PM on April 7, 2016


It has been done

Fair enough, although I was born in the late 70's :)
In the 80's and beyond (the time I can really remember) sugar was always presented as something to minimize.

The big turnaround has been on carbs in general, which I never remember hearing anything bad about back then.
posted by thefoxgod at 6:56 PM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Depends on what you mean by "paid off," I guess. Both groups do appear in the Coca-Cola funding disclosures released in the wake of the New York Times investigation of their practice of buying favorable research.

Those were donations for fund-raising fashion shows, walks, and wine-tastings. These are not the levers of power that move medical opinion.

I think it's helpful to understand where a lot of disease-specific recommendations come from. Every few years, consortiums of the major medical associations assemble a panel of doctors and scientists. The panel pores through the recent research, rates the quality thereof, and then assembles a list of recommendations, generally graded in terms of the strength of the evidence. These recommendations are sent out for peer review and eventually published. You can access many of these for free online. Guidelines are meant to reflect the consensus opinion of the most recently-available evidence. They do evolve with each new edition, but major revisions are rare and controversial. The most widely-respected guidelines are used by doctors and taught in medical schools.

The process as a whole is influenced and informed by the prevailing medical opinion, but not so much the conventional-wisdom family-doctor variety. It's moreso specialists arguing over highly technical details and their relative significance. The role of money in this process is pretty insignificant, excepting perhaps the role of pharmaceutical industry, not because they're paying anyone off but because there's often more and stronger evidence supporting drug therapy than non-drug alternatives--Big Pharma can fund large-scale clinical trials more easily than nonprofit institutions, due to the staggering cost. It's harder to hide negative results than it used to be, so the influence they exert is predominantly over which questions get answered, not over the answer to the questions.

So, what about the statin industry? If the link between heart disease and cholesterol is empirically broken, then why take statins? But it will be a cold day in hell before that class of drug is abandoned--the profits are astronomical.

Statins are unequivocally beneficial for secondary prevention in cardiovascular disease (that is, prevention of a second cardiovascular event). The open questions are 1) whether they are beneficial for primary prevention (that is, before you've had a first cardiovascular event) and 2) whether their benefits result from the lowering of LDL levels. The answers are looking to be probably not and possibly not, respectively.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:01 PM on April 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah, sugar was always a "minimize this" food (as was fat) but carbohydrates formed the foundation of the food pyramid I was taught when I was a lass. No distinction was made between simple and complex; we were told that carbohydrates give you energy and you should eat pasta, bread, rice and potatoes in abundance.
posted by town of cats at 7:05 PM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Word. You'd think that we'd have this sorted out by now, but, no.

The waters are so muddied by so many interests, fads, unreasonable expectations, body shame and image issues, bad science, and other shenanigans that it is really REALLY damn hard to find nutrition information that isn't absolutely foul with woo and bullshit, to the point it makes me unreasonably angry when I hear little catchphrases like SUGAR IS POISON! (no, arsenic is poison, sugar is bad for you, but it isn't poison, settle the fuck down) or even FOOD IS MEDICINE! (sigh. Good food is very good for you, and maintaining a nutritious diet is important, but stop telling me it's going to "cure" something it doesn't, or imply that people have health problems because they aren't as virtuous as you are.)

There is a lot of incentive, both monetary and otherwise, for people to tout bad science and to spread misinfornation.

I'll be over here eating kimchi over the sink in the middle of the night.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:08 PM on April 7, 2016 [25 favorites]


(specifically his prohibition on caffeine and his belief that shellfish were carb-free)

*puts down kebab skewer of chicory-infused lobster*

How's that now?
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:13 PM on April 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, sugar was always a "minimize this" food (as was fat) but carbohydrates formed the foundation of the food pyramid I was taught when I was a lass. No distinction was made between simple and complex; we were told that carbohydrates give you energy and you should eat pasta, bread, rice and potatoes in abundance.

That's because if you're a healthy human being with a not-excessive amount of body fat at least some carbs should always be eaten. Your brain needs a certain amount of glucose exclusively. It can pull it from fat in overweight/obese people but those who are lean are going to need carbs or the body will start taking it from protein (i.e. muscle).
posted by Talez at 7:14 PM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Now I just eat weird. People ask me what my diet is like or what my secret is and I don't even know where to start.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:15 PM on April 7, 2016


Those were donations for fund-raising fashion shows, walks, and wine-tastings. These are not the levers of power that move medical opinion.

If you think those sorts of donations come without strings, it suggests to me that you've never been on either side of corporate donations.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:16 PM on April 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


It almost seems like people want there to always be a Bad Food. That way, you can keep pure by avoiding it. There's lots of intense cultural stuff here that kind of shades off into religion. Like people believe that eating the Good (whole, organic, locally sourced, low in whatever the latest Bad Food is, whatever) food makes them a Good Person.

All the psychology around food is intense. Food is nourishment literally but it also seems to stand for emotional sustenance. There's a hell of a "hedonic treadmill" with food. Over-eating and kind of self-medicating with food can really creep up on you. It trends toward addiction when you do it more and more, trying to recapture the way it once made you feel, or do it despite negative consequences., or mostly do it to avoid the unease and feelings of deprivation that you fear from not doing it.
posted by thelonius at 7:16 PM on April 7, 2016 [37 favorites]


(specifically his prohibition on caffeine and his belief that shellfish were carb-free)

That's why so many Mormon Jews have difficulties with Atkins.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:18 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I seriously think instead of taxing the hell out of bad stuff, just legislate that any food you offer you have to also offer a "sensible portion" size with healthy sides priced at the same equivalent price.

From your keyboard to God's Ear. Once I stopped at a breakfast chain restaurant in western Canada. After driving for several hours I wanted to get something to eat, but driving makes me not hungry so I ordered a half-size portion from the Seniors Menu. "Are you a senior?" she said. I allowed that I was not. "Well, you can't have anything off the F*CKING SENIORS MENU then, can you?" She smiled sweetly as she brought my overpriced muffin. (Oh yeah? Well, I get the senior's discount at the hardware store every second Tuesday lady, and I'm only 59!)

I mean, WTF? You can't get a smaller portion so you're paying extra so they can throw your leftovers in the garbage?
posted by sneebler at 7:22 PM on April 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


Now I just eat weird. People ask me what my diet is like or what my secret is and I don't even know where to start.

EAT FOOD
NOT TOO MUCH
MOSTLY PLANTS
EXCEPT EUROPA
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:29 PM on April 7, 2016 [74 favorites]


This is why I don't eat anything containing sugar, but instead stick to Whole Foods' most nutritious evaporated cane juice.
posted by duffell at 7:42 PM on April 7, 2016 [19 favorites]


In every American dish I make where the recipe asks for sugar, I halve the amount. Never fails to taste fantastic.
posted by goalyeehah at 7:42 PM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


So, what about the statin industry? If the link between heart disease and cholesterol is empirically broken, then why take statins? But it will be a cold day in hell before that class of drug is abandoned--the profits are astronomical.

I don't think the article disputes the link between blood cholesterol and heart disease. It's arguing against dietary cholesterol and heart disease.

That is, a diet high in cholesterol does not mean you will have a high blood cholesterol.
posted by sbutler at 7:45 PM on April 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


All the psychology around food is intense.

I still can't eat vegetables properly after two years of working on the psychological aspect of it. I fucking hate it.
posted by Talez at 7:56 PM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


speaking of portion sizes, I still remember seeing signs a few years back in Japan at McDonald's, advertising their new smaller McFlurry size ("small enough that you can finish it!")
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:02 PM on April 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


sbutler, yeah, the blood cholesterol vs. dietary cholesterol thing is a really big thing. Turns out that your body produces its own cholesterol, and that process has virtually nothing to do with the cholesterol you consume, and it evidently took years for people to go "oh, right, digestion involves breaking things down instead of just putting them directly into the bloodstream"
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:08 PM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Most plant foods are actually somewhat toxic to life by evolutionary design.

The benefit to humans is that they are not toxic enough to kill us but are toxic enough to kill things that kill us.
posted by srboisvert at 8:21 PM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


There are seriously now people saying we really should be eating more meat though and it's hard to even dismiss them (or anybody) because nutrition is such a mess.
posted by atoxyl at 8:51 PM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I will say I definitely grew up knowing sugar was bad and even that whole-grain stuff was supposed to be good - though that part is probably because my mom was into that sort of thing. But how close refined carbs can be to sugar was not really in the air and we ate tons of sweet "low-fat" stuff. Not to mention hydrogenated margarine which was certainly a fuck-up of the anti-animal-fat movement.
posted by atoxyl at 8:56 PM on April 7, 2016


srboisvert: The benefit to humans is that they are not toxic enough to kill us but are toxic enough to kill things that kill us.

Can I get a citation on/article about this?

Also, I live in the south (rural Florida) and I've never been to a place that had sweet tea that didn't also have unsweet. I go out with my aunt/uncle a lot, and they order half sweet/unsweet tea all the time. It's common enough that no server bats an eye.
posted by Gymnopedist at 9:02 PM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Could it possibly be that the modern news/media cycle's demand for a steady supply of novel stories and surprising new twists on old ones is making us more ignorant and uncertain about how to make good choices despite all the big and little firehoses gushing updated information at us 24/7? Some experts say the picture is more complex than you might have believed, but others disagree. UPDATE: Oops sorry, none of that ever really happened. Or did it? Who the hell can keep track anymore...
posted by saulgoodman at 9:09 PM on April 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


There was never a time in my life when I remember people saying "just eat lots of sugar! its great!".

And just what do you think is in all that low-fat food? Flavor's gotta come from somewhere, and protein's expensive, but sugar makes dirt look expensive.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:11 PM on April 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


does nobody remember Snackwell's

early '90s, people

green boxes

low fat versions of cakes, snacks, candy, etc. that actually had higher calorie counts than the "regular" versions of same due to just cranking sugar content up to eleven
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:36 PM on April 7, 2016 [22 favorites]


I work in a hospital, which has had to alter its practices substantially to deal with the increased influx of overweight and diabetic patients. When I go to the cafeteria, it's practically overflowing with carbs and sweets. There's a new rack for liter bottles of iced tea, and none of the options are sugar-free.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:46 PM on April 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


EAT FOOD
NOT TOO MUCH
MOSTLY PLANTS
EXCEPT EUROPA


ATTEMPT NO SNACKING THERE
posted by chimaera at 9:47 PM on April 7, 2016 [37 favorites]


One night on the Roy of Hollywood Show (KPFK), some quack came on and explained how the Enlightenment and the Age of Exploration, and everything thereafter was basically driven by the European craving for sugar.

Sorta fits!
posted by notyou at 9:53 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Just talked to a powerlifter friend today about his lifestyle. He says he eats frozen yogurt or ice cream for a quick energy boost before his routine, sometimes he pops gummy bears in between sets. Isn't sugar, even in its most simple carbohydrate candied form, acceptable if you use up the calories as soon as possible?
posted by Apocryphon at 10:40 PM on April 7, 2016


I'm not sure that extrapolating from powerlifters, who are extreme examples of how human beings operate, to average humans is all that useful really.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:45 PM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I just want to have pudding before I work out okay
posted by Apocryphon at 10:51 PM on April 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


Isn't sugar, even in its most simple carbohydrate candied form, acceptable if you use up the calories as soon as possible?

No, for we must be pure, heathen!
posted by saulgoodman at 10:52 PM on April 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


The answer has been in front of us the whole time. Just eat all the cod!

GODDAMMIT DWAYNE DO YOU LIVE INSIDE JOHN STEINBECK’S CANNERY ROW
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:52 PM on April 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


Apocryphon, the logic is this: some amount of carbohydrates are necessary to restore muscle glycogen to keep your muscles primed for high intensity exercise, which burns fat off and keeps muscle so long as you eat protein. After doing weight training, consuming sugary carbs can help you with your goal of gaining muscle mass, because sugar spikes insulin, and insulin spikes that occur roughly 15-30 minutes after intense exercise are more likely to cause muscle gain than fat gain. It gets more complicated but I've gotten in the best shape of my life by eschewing super low carb dieting, trying instead to moderate my carbs, eat lots of vegetables in addition to high protein, I try to have lower carb days, but definitely consume more before and after intense exercise, especially leg stuff.
posted by aydeejones at 11:12 PM on April 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


People on super low carb diets inevitably run out of muscle glycogen and even liver glycogen which was a problem for me. I got close to the best shape ever on Atkins and then rapidly petered out. Definitely increasing meat / protein and veggie consumption in conjunction with reducing refined carbs and introducing the best starchy carbs like sweet potatoes helped me tremendously, but by incorporating weight training and calisthenics, I can get away with "cheat meals" basically every day and if anything am finding the balance between eating right consistently and not cheating myself knowing how much crap you can eat if your do regular resistance training.
posted by aydeejones at 11:16 PM on April 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, even when your muscles aren't growing, carbs consumed after workout tend to feed your muscles for recovery rather than turning to fat. Long extended cardiovascular exercise can lead to muscle loss especially if you eat consistently low carb because your body gets efficient at long stretches and can start burning muscle when your glycogen is depleted, while the combination of some carbs and short bursts of high intensity training prime your body for increased or preserved muscle mass and fat burning.
posted by aydeejones at 11:21 PM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you so much for that primer, as well as debunking the common post-Atkins misconception that "all carbs are bad." One more thing- do you ever consume the sugars after that 30 minute window?
posted by Apocryphon at 11:38 PM on April 7, 2016


The contempt that middle class, well-educated Americans feel towards other Americans with type-2 diabetes never fails to sadden me.
posted by cromagnon at 12:20 AM on April 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


I work in a hospital, which has had to alter its practices substantially to deal with the increased influx of overweight and diabetic patients. When I go to the cafeteria, it's practically overflowing with carbs and sweets.

I've never seen a greater concentration of smokers than the lunchtime gathering of nurses behind McMaster University Hospital.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 12:21 AM on April 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


There was never a time in my life when I remember people saying "just eat lots of sugar! its great!"

There was a time when a breakfast cereal called Sugar Frosted Flakes was marketed with the slogan "They're great!"
posted by davejh at 12:46 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


There was also a "Sugar Smacks" cereal. But once "Count Chocula" came out, well, after me, the deluge.
posted by thelonius at 12:47 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


How did the world’s top nutrition scientists get it so wrong for so long?

Christ, the hyperbole. The world's! Top! SCIENTISTS! You know those guys! MORONS. SOOOOOO wrong. For how long? SOOOOO LOOOOOONG.

Which nutritionists said 'Eat sugar! All of the time! All of the sugar! Three 20oz bottles of Coke a day is a good start! That's the way! Hey, you, sit down while you drink that shit!' Because all the nutritionists I know said 'eat wholegrains and fruit and vegetables and some lean protein and a bit of fat and oils.' And we all knew that when they said 'bread' they didn't mean Wonder White and when they said 'cereal' they didn't mean Fruit Loops. They meant a tuna and salad sandwich made with multigrain and Sultana Bran.

The food pyramid gets a lot of trash talk thrown its way. I reckon the number of adults on earth who eat 2000 calories a day following the pyramid, who enjoy moderate exercise, and who are also overweight is pretty close to zero.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:42 AM on April 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


I definitely think that sugar is the bad guy here. Its not natural to eat and it's really hard for the body to digest. Although I know this I eat sugar everyday, it comes with everything, in sauces, in drinks in the food. It is not only from candy and sodas and pastries. Watch out for that delicious trap!
posted by Krislarsson at 2:53 AM on April 8, 2016


I was just diagnosed with diabetes. Sugar and I are not on good terms right now. I am seeing a nutritionist next week to help me figure out how to eat now. Because the carbs, they are everywhere!
posted by Biblio at 4:26 AM on April 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I just want to complain that I work pretty hard to have a fairly healthy balanced diet, and I make the vast majority of our family's food from scratch, but my weakness is sugar in my tea and omg the judgement lately of "you know sugar is poison!" from people. ffs. I don't drink soda, eat sugary cereal, eat pre-made food loaded with sugar, eat much bread at all but definitely not sandwich bread full of sugar, etc etc. Just let me have these few teaspoons in my goddamn tea and shut up.
posted by olinerd at 4:58 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I definitely think that sugar is the bad guy here. Its not natural to eat and it's really hard for the body to digest.

I'm pretty sure it's exactly the opposite. It's quite easy to digest. It's strange when these types of conversations degenerate into the "and you know who else liked sugar?!?" phase. It can be bad for you without being BAD in every possible way.
posted by OmieWise at 5:00 AM on April 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


I think my moment of doubt about the whole "nutrition science" nonsense came from Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food" (2008), in which he made a number of similar points regarding the dubious science behind 90% of nutritional studies.

I thought this was a good and interesting article because it doesn't focus so much on the fat vs sugar thing but more on what is wrong with certain scientific fields today.

If you link this to say Ben Goldacre's "Bad Pharma" or the recently posted comment piece by Richard Horton in The Lancet, or even say the persistence of a model of scientific medical research funding distribution based on successful marketing rather than scientific merit ( Pink Ribbons anyone?), then one really starts to have doubts about this scientific endeavour "we" as a society is meant to be engaged in.
posted by mary8nne at 5:37 AM on April 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


The article creates a scapegoat for a set of public health problems which are the result of many factors. Added sugar plays a role, but its contribution is probably not as great as things like: Partially hydrogenated oils, Teflon cookware, chronic sleep deficits, our sedentary lifestyles, lack of vitamin D from spending too much time inside, environmental pollutants, mold, and the general anxiety of the post 9-11 world.
Also the notion that sugar = bad greatly over simplifies things. Sugar isn't bad, too much sugar is bad. Adding sugar to every thing we eat and drink is something we should try to get away from.
posted by humanfont at 5:51 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


We need a drug that makes sweet or bready things taste like earwax.

Alas!
posted by that's how you get ants at 5:59 AM on April 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


MetaFilter: strobe lights and New Order, spinning around in an office chair, eatin' them jellies
posted by Gelatin at 6:14 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


> this thread led me to some googling which led me to: this I'm a monster, bye everybody

Oh hell yes to THAT good idea, that's a thing I could make myself. Not even kidding.
posted by desuetude at 6:55 AM on April 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I lost 2 friends not long ago to sudden heart attacks. Both diabetics. K was days shy of his 50th birthday, didn't control his diet well enough, but, still, he didn't at all appear unhealthy. A was months from her 60th, ate really well, walked everywhere. Diabetes is just a horror show. Screws up your blood, your metabolism is all kinds of wrong. Diabetes is closely linked to weight and as Americans get bigger, diabetes is showing up more often and in younger people. It's expensive. Watch tv? Sure are a lot of ads for highly profitable diabetes drugs. The cost of caring for diabetes related illness is high, going to get higher.

Partly to get rid of some lingering debt, I've been cooking from scratch. Why is it so hard to find canned tomato sauce without sugar? Tomatoes are already sweet. Canned corn? The more sugar you eat, the more it tastes normal, and it just ratchets up. Sugar and corn syrup are cheap, so put them in everything along with lots of salt and some strong artificial flavors, and sell cheap processed crap that will satisfy.

Every couple of years there's a new study and a new eating fad. I'm with the Michael Pollan crowd, and getting there is non-trivial. Eating whole food, reducing sugar, eating more vegetables, is harder than eating crap, and more expensive. Check your Food Privilege.
posted by theora55 at 7:01 AM on April 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to weight. Type 1 diabetes is not.
posted by chinston at 7:09 AM on April 8, 2016


I generally try to avoid eating too much sugar because it's a binge trigger for me. I have a huge sweet tooth, and when I eat really sweet stuff, I crave more really sweet stuff. If I have access to a pound of gummi bears, I will eat a pound of gummi bears, because eating ten gummi bears is not a thing that really works for me. I try to avoid artificial sweeteners for the same reason. But I feel like that's really individual: it's a matter of me working out what I personally need to do to be healthy, rather than some sort of fact of science.

I guess I've just abandoned nutrition science in favor of trial and error and figuring out what works for me. I realize that sounds terrible: I'm the kind of jerk who doesn't listen to experts because I rely on "common sense". And in general, I think those people are dingbats. But I'm sick of feeling whipsawed by contradictory advice, and I feel like my instincts have generally served me pretty well.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:22 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


i like butter a lot and can eat spoonfuls of butter and peanut butter.
it's a great snack! a touch of honey is nice.

i'm really excited for the hi fat low sugar desert fad to take hold.

praise the lard!
posted by danjo at 7:25 AM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Another perspective on sugar: Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle trilogy makes a point of the connection between sugar and slavery; one of the main characters refuses to eat sugar because she feels so strongly about slavery. It's something to think about; sugar plantations probably aren't going to be in any "10 best places to work" lists...
posted by amtho at 7:36 AM on April 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


what's wrong with artificially-sweetened tea?

Recent research suggests artificial sweetners alter gut microbes causing increased blood sugar levels.
posted by squeak at 7:40 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's something to think about; sugar plantations probably aren't going to be in any "10 best places to work" lists...

iirc, the life expectancy of a Caribbean sugar plantation slave was about 18 months.
posted by thelonius at 7:58 AM on April 8, 2016


Dr. Katz: “Nina is shockingly unprofessional … I have been in rooms filled with the who’s who of nutrition and I have never seen such unanimous revulsion as when Miss Teicholz’s name comes up. She is an animal unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.”

WTF?

Despite requests, he cited no examples of her unprofessional behaviour. (The vitriol poured over Teicholz is rarely dispensed to Gary Taubes, though they make fundamentally similar arguments.)

Oh right, she's a woman.
posted by Huck500 at 8:03 AM on April 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


So, wait, now what we're saying is "Hurf Durf NOT Butter Eater?" I can't keep up.
posted by The Bellman at 8:23 AM on April 8, 2016


Biblio: you could do worse than to check out the /r/keto subreddit. Yes, it's reddit, and a fair amount of it is focused on appearances, but there's a lot of really good info there in terms of low-carbing it. I myself haven't lost much weight, but my blood sugar levels (and other bloodwork) have improved immensely since going on low-carb.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:45 AM on April 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


iirc, the life expectancy of a Caribbean sugar plantation slave was about 18 months.

Yes, but I was considering what it might be like now...

I mean, I know that jobs are nice, even terrible jobs, but so is having land available for growing healthy food for local families...
posted by amtho at 8:48 AM on April 8, 2016


artificial sweetners alter gut microbes
One study showed that saccharin had these effects, but that article does not say what happens with the aspartame or sucralose. It also says that 4 of seven people became glucose intolerant after a week of saccharin. A comment states "saccharin had the biggest effects, aspartame had almost no effect and sucralose was somewhere inbetween".
posted by soelo at 8:51 AM on April 8, 2016


There's an episode of Seinfeld where they all get addicted to this fat-free frozen yogurt, and they're all "it can't make you fat because it's fat free!!!" But then they do start to gain weight. And rather than this being a joke about how little the Seinfeld gang understands about nutrition, it instead turns out that the yogurt ship is lying and the yogurt actually does have fat in it!

Every time I see this episode, I end up screaming "FAT FREE DOESN'T MEAN CALORIE FREE YOU IDIOTS" at the tv over and over again, as my husband tries to get me to shut up. The episode is like a time capsule for past nutrition fad science.
posted by meese at 10:00 AM on April 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that the joke is both that they (and everyone else) are idiots and that fat free frozen yoghurt tastes bad anyway. So they're buying into a fad which is both unsustainable on the surface and only supportable through deception. Which is actually how these things work in reality. People con themselves and get conned at the same time.
posted by howfar at 10:21 AM on April 8, 2016


Every time I see this episode, I end up screaming "FAT FREE DOESN'T MEAN CALORIE FREE YOU IDIOTS"

Oh my God. I remember back in like 1996 having this argument with a quasi-girlfriend about fat free cheese. She could not/would not understand that there is not such thing, it only meant it was missing a certain kind of fat. Drove me fucking insane.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:33 AM on April 8, 2016


In Lebanon marshmallows are always sold as a "fat free" snack. Which is both true and 100% misleading.
posted by howfar at 11:17 AM on April 8, 2016


soelo, one of the authors made the full study available for free if you wish to look further.
posted by squeak at 1:00 PM on April 8, 2016


Or the sugar packets that say: "Sugar Contains No Fat".
posted by straight at 1:42 PM on April 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh my God. I remember back in like 1996 having this argument with a quasi-girlfriend about fat free cheese. She could not/would not understand that there is not such thing, it only meant it was missing a certain kind of fat. Drove me fucking insane.

I've been puzzling over this for a few hours and have to sheepishly admit I'm under the same impression as the ex-quasi-girlfriend. I'm too curious not to ask: What kind of fat is in the cheese that doesn't count? Or maybe it's a country-by-country thing? I'm in the U.S., and by regulation companies can't call something "fat free" unless it has less than 0.5 gram of total fat per 100 grams of food.
posted by mama casserole at 2:04 PM on April 8, 2016


maybe it was some cheese-simulating food product?
posted by thelonius at 5:25 PM on April 8, 2016


Which nutritionists said 'Eat sugar! All of the time! All of the sugar! Three 20oz bottles of Coke a day is a good start! That's the way! Hey, you, sit down while you drink that shit!' Because all the nutritionists I know said 'eat wholegrains and fruit and vegetables and some lean protein and a bit of fat and oils.' And we all knew that when they said 'bread' they didn't mean Wonder White and when they said 'cereal' they didn't mean Fruit Loops. They meant a tuna and salad sandwich made with multigrain and Sultana Bran.

I recently went to a nutrition session given by a registered dietician at my daughter's dance studio. Towards the end of the session one parent asked why she had a Capri Sun on her table (probably thinking she was going to use it as an example of what not to consume). The dietician said she recommends it to parents to give to their kids after sports practice. When the parent said that you might as well give them water with a spoonful of sugar in it, the dietician replied, "No, this has vitamins and minerals in it, too!"

Registered dietician, people. They're the ones who actually have a degree in nutrition, not someone who just tacked "nutritionist" on after their name. The bad advice presented in that meeting was really disheartening.
posted by Bresciabouvier at 8:11 AM on April 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Re fat-free cheese: The nutrition label on fat-free cheese certainly seems to indicate 0 grams of fat. Even in today's weakened regulatory regime, it seems like the manufacturer might face some repercussions if that were actually false.

Apparently these have generally been made from skim milk by otherwise-conventional cheesemaking processes; but there are ongoing efforts to improve flavor e.g. by adding fat mimetics.
posted by shenderson at 10:28 AM on April 10, 2016


"Fat Mimetics" is a strong contender for my new band's name.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:43 PM on April 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I recently went to a nutrition session given by a registered dietician at my daughter's dance studio....The dietician said she recommends (Capri Sun) to parents to give to their kids after sports practice

Setting aside that one person's behaviour isn't really enough to go damning an entire profession over the course of forty years, this may be good advice, depending on how old your children are and how much exercise they did. According to the Australian Institute of Sport:
In the immediate post exercise period, athletes are encouraged to consume a carbohydrate rich snack or meal that provides 1-1.2 g of carbohydrate per kg body weight within the first hour of finishing, as this is when rates of glycogen synthesis are greatest. This is especially important if the time between prolonged training sessions is less than 8 hrs. The type and form (meal or snack) of carbohydrate that is suitable will depend on a number of factors, including the athletes overall daily carbohydrate and energy requirements, gastric tolerance, access and availability of suitable food options and the length of time before the next training session. Table 1 gives examples snacks providing at least 50g of carbohydrate.

Table 1 - Carbohydrate-rich recovery snacks (50g CHO portions)

• 700-800ml sports drink
• 2 sports gels
• 500ml fruit juice or soft drink
• 300ml carbohydrate loader drink
• 2 slices toast/bread with jam or honey or banana topping
• 2 cereal bars
• 1 cup thick vegetable soup + large bread roll
• 115g (1 large or 2 small) cake style muffins, fruit buns or scones
• 300g (large) baked potato with salsa filling
• 100g pancakes (2 stack) + 30g syrup
Unless you're going to be standing around with a bowl of soup, some jelly toast or a baked potato on hand (and your kids will actually eat this) a 6oz pouch of juice (a whopping 90 calories, and 23g of carbs) doesn't sound like it's going to kill anybody.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:48 PM on April 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Setting aside that one person's behaviour isn't really enough to go damning an entire profession over the course of forty years, this may be good advice, depending on how old your children are and how much exercise they did. According to the Australian Institute of Sport:

I'm not damning the entire profession, but I think it's valid to use her as an example of what the profession is saying. It looks to me that those Australian Institute of Sports recommendations are for athletes, undergoing prolonged training periods. Not six year olds running around on the soccer field after school. I don't think there is a pressing need for them to consume simple carbohydrates to replenish their glycogen reserves immediately after any exercise, and I maintain that it is not good nutritional advice. If there is one thing school children don't have problems getting enough of in their diets, it's carbohydrates.
posted by Bresciabouvier at 10:36 AM on April 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


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