Health-conscious Americans who took part in the newest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll indicated they might avoid tobacco, sugar and alcohol and opt for some marijuana instead. Patrick O’Connor explains.
Tag Archives | sugar
Here’s hoping that the lead story in today’s New York Times Business section is enough to steel Congressmen and women against the big-spending lobbyists and public relations flacks hired by agribusinesses like ADM to try to sneak more High Fructose Corn Syrup into Americans’ foodstuffs. As if we don’t already consume enough of their toxic sludge!
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WASHINGTON — The corn refinery and sugar industries, bitter rivals in the manufacture of billions of dollars’ worth of sweeteners for sodas and other high-calorie foods, covertly funded dueling nonprofit groups in Washington in a multiyear effort to grab market share, while also stoking fears among consumers about possible health risks, court records made public in a federal lawsuit between the two parties show.
The lawsuit, which has brought hundreds of pages of secret corporate emails and strategy documents into the public domain, demonstrates how Washington-based groups and academic experts frequently become extensions of corporate lobbying campaigns as rival industries use them to try to inflict damage on their competitors or defend their reputations against such assaults.
Sorry, America: Apparently you can’t get by on Mountain Dew and fried Twinkies covered in crumbled Twinkies served on a plate made of Twinkies without some health-related blow-back. I want my country back!
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Too much sugar is bad for you, but how much, exactly, is too much? A study in mice has found that the animals’ health and ability to compete can be harmed by a diet that has sugar levels equivalent to what many people in the United States currently consume.
High-sugar diets are associated not only with obesity and diabetes, but also with other human conditions such as coronary heart disease. However, the exact causal links for many of these has not been established. When studies are done in mice to evaluate health effects of sugar, the doses given are often so high, and outside the range of equivalent human consumption, that it is hard to tell conclusively whether the results are relevant to people.
A movement whose time has come? Kevin Roose makes a strong case against the United States government subsidizing the sugar industry, at New York Magazine:
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Right here in America, under our collective nose, there is an industry that survives on political patronage and government subsidies, that regularly receives mysterious and untraceable bailouts funded by taxpayers, that is disproportionately influential in Washington as a result of its massive lobbying efforts, and that is making huge profits at the expense of ordinary consumers.
I’m not talking about Wall Street. I’m talking about the American sugar industry, which for years has been a perfect case study for the corrupting influence of money in politics. These days, beverage-makers like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are catching flack for working behind the scenes to build opposition to Mayor Bloomberg’s soda ban. But the sugar industry has been exerting its power in politics for decades. And while camping out at a Florida sugarcane farm isn’t as sexy and eye-catching as a Zuccotti Park protest, it’s clear that Big Sugar needs to be kept in check with an Occupy movement of its own.
Looks like we may soon look to sugar as a new fuel source. Think it’ll make your car hyper, too?
Via e! Science News:
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A long-abandoned fermentation process once used to turn starch into explosives can be used to produce renewable diesel fuel to replace the fossil fuels now used in transportation, University of California, Berkeley, scientists have discovered. Campus chemists and chemical engineers teamed up to produce diesel fuel from the products of a bacterial fermentation discovered nearly 100 years ago by the first president of Israel, chemist Chaim Weizmann. The retooled process produces a mix of products that contain more energy per gallon than ethanol that is used today in transportation fuels and could be commercialized within 5-10 years.
While the fuel’s cost is still higher than diesel or gasoline made from fossil fuels, the scientists said the process would drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, one of the major contributors to global climate change.
I’m massively against the consumption of super-sized HFCS-laden soda, but is New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg creating a mini “Nanny State” with his latest plan to outlaw any size of sugared drinks larger than 16 ounces? Michael M. Gyrnbaum reports for the New York Times:
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New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.
The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.
You have been warned (via AFP/Yahoo News):
Eating too much sugar can eat away at your brainpower, according to US scientists who published a study Tuesday showing how a steady diet of high-fructose corn syrup sapped lab rats’ memories.
Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) fed two groups of rats a solution containing high-fructose corn syrup — a common ingredient in processed foods — as drinking water for six weeks. One group of rats was supplemented with brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids in the form of flaxseed oil and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while the other group was not.
Before the sugar drinks began, the rats were enrolled in a five-day training session in a complicated maze. After six weeks on the sweet solution, the rats were then placed back in the maze to see how they fared. “The DHA-deprived animals were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity,” said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA…
[continues at via AFP/Yahoo News]
Personally I’d prefer to see the likes of aspartame, saccharin, sucralose and the other artificial sweeteners outlawed (not to mention the ubiquitous High-Fructose Corn Syrup) … From Live Science via Yahoo News:
A spoonful of sugar might make the medicine go down. But it also makes blood pressure and cholesterol go up, along with your risk for liver failure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Sugar and other sweeteners are, in fact, so toxic to the human body that they should be regulated as strictly as alcohol by governments worldwide, according to a commentary in the current issue of the journal Nature by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
The researchers propose regulations such as taxing all foods and drinks that include added sugar, banning sales in or near schools and placing age limits on purchases.
Although the commentary might seem straight out of the Journal of Ideas That Will Never Fly, the researchers cite numerous studies and statistics to make their case that added sugar — or, more specifically, sucrose, an even mix of glucose and fructose found in high-fructose corn syrup and in table sugar made from sugar cane and sugar beets — has been as detrimental to society as alcohol and tobacco…
[continues at Live Science via Yahoo News]
At the Whole Foods Market in Silver Spring, Md., the self-serve coffee counter offers four types of milk and nearly every imaginable alternative to granulated sugar. There's unrefined sugar, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar—and a no-calorie sugar substitute called Truvia. The green packets are tucked behind the cash register; if you want it, you have to ask...