This Is What We’re Up Against … Scholastic Version

My wife recently tore a page out of Scholastic Parent & Child magazine and left it on my desk. As I sipped my morning coffee, I read a headline — Is Sugar to Blame? — with the subtitle There are many misconceptions about type 2 diabetes.  Below that was a brief article in Myth vs. Truth format.

You already know what’s coming, don’t you? That’s right:  an article exonerating sugar, along with other nonsense. Look at these three Myth-Truth entries and ask yourself if perhaps they should’ve caused some cognitive dissonance in the writer’s brain:

Myth:  Type 2 diabetes only affects adults.
Truth:  The disease used to be called adult-onset diabetes because it mainly occurred in people over 40. Not anymore. In the past two decades, the number of children and adolescents diagnosed has been rising steadily.

Myth:  It’s caused by eating too much sugar.
Truth:  A combination of genetics and lifestyle factors cause type 2 diabetes. But many sugary foods can lead to being overweight, which increases risk.

Myth:  Only overweight people develop type 2 diabetes.
Truth:  People of normal weight can develop the disease.

So let’s see if we can follow the logic here:  This disease used to pretty much only show up in people over 40.  Now it’s rising rapidly among kids.  But it’s not caused by eating too much sugar; it’s caused by genetics and/or being overweight.  And by the way, plenty of people who aren’t overweight also develop the disease.

Conclusion:  Our genetics must’ve undergone one hell of a mutation in the past 20 years. Either that, or some mysterious change in “lifestyle factors” caused a rapid rise in diabetes among teens and adolescents. Perhaps we’ll eventually learn that video games or just-above-the-butt tattoos are to blame. Trouble is, I can’t imagine the biological mechanism by which either of those would cause diabetes, and I’m pretty sure the people running the genome project would’ve noticed a sudden genetic mutation.

So I believe if our brains are functioning, we’re stuck looking for an alternate conclusion.  Here’s mine:  whoever wrote this garbage for Scholastic Parent & Child doesn’t have a flippin’ clue.

Correlation doesn’t prove causation, but I sincerely doubt the fact that type 2 diabetes has risen right along with our consumption of high-fructose corn syrup is a mere coincidence.  (Oh, excuse me … it’s “corn sugar” now, not high-fructose corn syrup.)  And in this case, we can definitely imagine the biological mechanism that leads to diabetes. For that, we’ll turn to a paper co-authored by Dr. Richard Johnson. (See his speech on fructose and uric acid in this post.)  Here are a few quotes from the opening of the paper:

We propose that excessive fructose intake (>50 g/d) may be one of the underlying etiologies of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. The primary sources of fructose are sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup. First, fructose intake correlates closely with the rate of diabetes worldwide. Second, unlike other sugars, the ingestion of excessive fructose induces features of metabolic syndrome in both laboratory animals and humans.

Beginning with studies in the 1950s, it was recognized that diets high in sucrose can rapidly induce features of metabolic syndrome in rats, including hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, weight gain, and hyperuricemia. Further studies documented that these metabolic changes were due to the fructose content.

Later in the paper, Johnson and his co-authors present details on the biochemistry involved.  Don’t worry about wrapping your brain around all this stuff; the point is that they’re citing clinical evidence and chemistry, not simply blaming unspecified “lifestyle factors.”

Moreover, there is evidence that fructose-induced insulin resistance is mediated by fructose-induced hyperuricemia. Lowering uric acid using either xanthine oxidase inhibitors or uricosuric agents can prevent the development of metabolic syndrome induced by fructose. At least two mechanisms may account for these findings. First, it is known that insulin-mediated endothelial nitric oxide (NO) release can account for one third of insulin’s action possibly by increasing blood flow to skeletal muscle and peripheral tissues and enhancing glucose uptake. Mice incapable of generating endothelial NO develop full features of metabolic syndrome. Uric acid inhibits endothelial NO in cell culture and in the animal, and the mechanisms involve uric acid-induced oxidant production, C-reactive protein production, stimulation of arginase, and direct scavenging. Asymptomatic hyperuricemia in humans is also associated with endothelial dysfunction, and lowering uric acid with allopurinol improves endothelial function in diabetics. The second proposed mechanism is by a direct effect of uric acid on the adipocyte. There is evidence that insulin resistance is mediated in part by inflammation and oxidative stress within the adipocyte. Sautin et al. have recently shown that uric acid induces this phenotype in cultured adipocytes. In addition, Cheung et al. reported that xanthine oxidoreductase knockout mice fail to become fat due to a defect in adipogenesis. These studies therefore implicate xanthine oxidase and uric acid in metabolic syndrome.

Bottom line:  there’s strong evidence that excess fructose causes the body to produce excess uric acid, whicn in turn induces insulin resistance, among other horrors.

With all the research out there, Scholastic Parent & Child tells parents not to blame sugar (and HFCS) for the rise in childhood diabetes?  You’ve got to be kidding me.

My first thought was that they must’ve gotten their talking points from that creepy lady at the Corn Refiners Association.  Then I noticed the sources listed at the end of the article:  The American Diabetes Association the National Diabetes Education Program.

Well, of course … we’re talking about the same people who explain in their literature how carbohydrates rapidly turn into blood sugar, then tell diabetics to be sure to eat lots of carbohydrates.

The article also suggested that parents who are worried about diabetes should visit diabetes.com for more information. So I did. Here are a few gems from that site:

When you have type 2 diabetes, high levels of sugar build up in your blood. This can lead to serious health complications. That’s why controlling your blood sugar is key to managing diabetes.

Ah, very good so far. Of course, you’ll next explain to diabetics how to adopt a diet that will keep their blood sugar low, right?

There’s no such thing as a “diabetic diet.” Still, you may be confused about what to eat. Here’s the low-down on some common misunderstandings about foods:

Carbohydrates. Some meal plans want you to count grams of carbohydrates (sugar and starch). Your dietitian can help you learn to count carbohydrates.

Sugar. Most experts say small amounts of sugar are fine, as long as they are part of your meal plan.

Oh, I see … if you’re a diabetic and plan to eat sugar, it’s fine. Your body says to itself, “Well, looky here … this sugar was listed right there on the day’s schedule, so I won’t bother dumping it into the bloodstream. I only do that with sugar I didn’t expect.”

Healthy eating, along with medicine if prescribed and regular physical activity, can help lower your blood sugar. Eating healthy is key to reducing your risk of health complications from diabetes.

Changing the way you eat can be hard. So make changes slowly. Start by adding high-fiber foods including fruits and vegetables. These fiber-rich foods may help stop spikes in blood sugar. Eat less meat and fewer sweets.

Meat is bad (no explanation as to why), sweets are bad (unless you plan on eating them), but other foods that jack up your blood sugar are great:   In other sections, the diabetes.com site recommends six servings per day of low-fat breads, beans, crackers, tortillas or pretzels, plus two to four servings of fruit — those would be providing you with fructose, of course. 

So there you have it.  Sugar doesn’t cause diabetes, and if you develop diabetes, you should base your diet on foods that jack up your blood sugar … but be sure to check your blood-sugar level, and if it goes too high, see your doctor.  So say the experts at diabetes.com, the American Diabetes Association, and Scholastic Parent & Child magazine.

This is what we’re up against.  I feel sorry for well-intentioned parents who believe this nonsense.


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109 thoughts on “This Is What We’re Up Against … Scholastic Version

  1. Anna

    When my type 2 diabetic husband was in hospital for knee replacement surgery he was fed a weird diet of white bread, canned fruit in syrup, and
    potatoes amongst other things like pasty meat.

    When I questioned the nursing staff they agreed it didn’t seem like a diabetic-type meal but the nutritionist assured me that it was.

    I sprung him out of there as fast as I could.

    Smart move.

  2. Scratch

    I suppose the cynical question that must be asked is:

    “What would groups, such as The American Diabetes Association and the National Diabetes Education Program, do if the Type 2 Diabetes epidemic were to suddenly disappear?”

    I don’t want to be paranoid, but managing diabetes with diet alone doesn’t seem to be in their interest.

  3. Lori

    Fruit. If I hear one more time that fruit is an essential part of your diet, I am going to scream. Nothing gives me acid reflux worse than fruit. I almost never eat it, and don’t eat the other high-carb junk the ADA recommends except for an occasional sweet, yet I can dance circles around people half my age. Despite being from a family full of diabetics, my blood sugar is rock solid normal and my lipids are pretty low (TC of 140).

    If grains aren’t essential from an evolutionary point of view, year-round fruit certainly isn’t. According to Wikipedia, the practice of drying fruit is only a few thousand years old.

    Oh, and something that really will blunt blood sugar spikes is eating fat with your meal. But of course, according to the ADA, fat makes you fat, which causes this mysterious disease called diabetes (where lots of sugar somehow gets into your blood), except when it isn’t caused by being fat.

    All fruits like oranges do for me is my make mouth sore. I get along fine with berries, but I can’t believe I need a lot of fruit to be healthy.

  4. Arlo Jeremy

    Guess what the next article in my feed was?

    “Twinkie diet helps nutritionist lose 27 pounds” http://goo.gl/uN2mn

    It’s all about the calories, folks! 😛

    “To curb calories, he avoided meat, whole grains and fruits. Once he started adding meat into the diet four weeks ago, his cholesterol level increased.

    Haub plans to add about 300 calories to his daily intake now that he’s done with the diet. But he’s not ditching snack cakes altogether. Despite his weight loss, Haub feels ambivalence.

    ‘I wish I could say the outcomes are unhealthy. I wish I could say it’s healthy. I’m not confident enough in doing that. That frustrates a lot of people. One side says it’s irresponsible. It is unhealthy, but the data doesn’t say that.'”

    He actually emailed me awhile back. I’d like to see what he actually ate, since he apparently consumed vegetables and protein shakes as well as Twinkies, while also limiting himself to 1800 calories.

  5. Anna

    When my type 2 diabetic husband was in hospital for knee replacement surgery he was fed a weird diet of white bread, canned fruit in syrup, and
    potatoes amongst other things like pasty meat.

    When I questioned the nursing staff they agreed it didn’t seem like a diabetic-type meal but the nutritionist assured me that it was.

    I sprung him out of there as fast as I could.

    Smart move.

  6. Scratch

    I suppose the cynical question that must be asked is:

    “What would groups, such as The American Diabetes Association and the National Diabetes Education Program, do if the Type 2 Diabetes epidemic were to suddenly disappear?”

    I don’t want to be paranoid, but managing diabetes with diet alone doesn’t seem to be in their interest.

  7. Sean

    I just went to the ADA page to see how bad it was. They were promoting a book called Healthy Carb Diabetes Cookbook to “Treat diabetes with common fruits, veggies and whole grains!” It has a picture of a vegetarian pizza on the front.

    Is glue a healthy carb? Cause it seems like they’ve been sniffing a lot of it.

    I guess next they’ll come up with the Healthy Sugar Cookbook.

  8. Lori

    Fruit. If I hear one more time that fruit is an essential part of your diet, I am going to scream. Nothing gives me acid reflux worse than fruit. I almost never eat it, and don’t eat the other high-carb junk the ADA recommends except for an occasional sweet, yet I can dance circles around people half my age. Despite being from a family full of diabetics, my blood sugar is rock solid normal and my lipids are pretty low (TC of 140).

    If grains aren’t essential from an evolutionary point of view, year-round fruit certainly isn’t. According to Wikipedia, the practice of drying fruit is only a few thousand years old.

    Oh, and something that really will blunt blood sugar spikes is eating fat with your meal. But of course, according to the ADA, fat makes you fat, which causes this mysterious disease called diabetes (where lots of sugar somehow gets into your blood), except when it isn’t caused by being fat.

    All fruits like oranges do for me is my make mouth sore. I get along fine with berries, but I can’t believe I need a lot of fruit to be healthy.

  9. Arlo Jeremy

    Guess what the next article in my feed was?

    “Twinkie diet helps nutritionist lose 27 pounds” http://goo.gl/uN2mn

    It’s all about the calories, folks! 😛

    “To curb calories, he avoided meat, whole grains and fruits. Once he started adding meat into the diet four weeks ago, his cholesterol level increased.

    Haub plans to add about 300 calories to his daily intake now that he’s done with the diet. But he’s not ditching snack cakes altogether. Despite his weight loss, Haub feels ambivalence.

    ‘I wish I could say the outcomes are unhealthy. I wish I could say it’s healthy. I’m not confident enough in doing that. That frustrates a lot of people. One side says it’s irresponsible. It is unhealthy, but the data doesn’t say that.'”

    He actually emailed me awhile back. I’d like to see what he actually ate, since he apparently consumed vegetables and protein shakes as well as Twinkies, while also limiting himself to 1800 calories.

  10. Natalie

    A note for the tragically unhip – an ‘above the butt’ tattoo is known as a tramp stamp.

    This lesson in colloquial English was brought to you by someone under the age of 35 who feels smug about it!. Heh heh 🙂

    I’m beyond tragically unhip. I hear songs on oldies radio that I don’t recognize because when those songs were top 40, I was already listening to oldies radio.

  11. Tammy

    The only thing I can say is cash, it’s got to be the money driving the industry. The drug industry, health industry, nutrition, heck everything. It’s like somehow everyone got the message about trans-fats, everyone knows they are really bad for you (but they are still in everything) but with sugar and HFCS the lobby must just be too big. One day last week I was talking to one of my coworkers and he actually said “HFCS is bad for you?” I just sat there for a minute and then said “Yes !?!?!” Like he didn’t know, but I guess people really don’t know.

    I guess he’s been watching those “sweet surprise” commercials.

  12. Laurie

    Pardon me while I vent. Continued ruminations have me frustrated about the ill effects of low Sulfur, high dietary soy, vegetable ‘fats’, cereal grains and fructose on my mother. Frustrated because her dementia (pleasant though it may be…..we’re lucky that she is happy- unusual for this malady) was preventable and it’s continuation is totally uncalled for and unneccessary.
    I’m fighthing monied interests (BIG PHARMA, BIG SUGAR, BIG GRAIN) and low information all around me including my smart, well-educated physician- (61 year old) sister. But she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know about nutrition. She takes Lipitor (for what I have no idea because women do not benefit) and she has metabolic syndrome (big surprise there) and she and her family eat almost nothing but addicting, brain-degrading cereals. It’s shocking. Her mother-in-law just died of Alzheimer’s and her father-in-law has Parkinson’s, her bro-in-law has schizophrenia and her other bro-in-law has scoliosis. Her husband, my brother-in-law, is dyslexic- he’s managed all these years but he’s severly dyslexic.
    I was just at a lecture a week ago about AD and I was reminded of the connection between AD and Parkinson’s during that talk. My sister’s father-in-law earned his PhD in Physics from Yale and worked on the Manhattan project, but what these poor suffering people don’t know about what constitutes a brain, heart and body healthy diet is legion. It makes me so angry.
    Sorry about the vent, In Science and Information Is Veritas (and a little heart and emotion too!)

    Vent away. Anger is the appropriate response.

  13. Sean

    I just went to the ADA page to see how bad it was. They were promoting a book called Healthy Carb Diabetes Cookbook to “Treat diabetes with common fruits, veggies and whole grains!” It has a picture of a vegetarian pizza on the front.

    Is glue a healthy carb? Cause it seems like they’ve been sniffing a lot of it.

    I guess next they’ll come up with the Healthy Sugar Cookbook.

  14. Chris

    Whenever I hear or read the word “manage” in regards to a disease, I immediately jump to the conclusion that the the party using the term–doctor, drug company, hospital— does not want you to get well. Instead they want to treat you for life and have your “condition” become a continuing stream of revenue. If you actually got better, you would cease to be a patient (paying customer). I remember when doctors sought to cure you instead of “manage your condition.” Stay paranoid.

    They pretty much say that on the site: it’s a lifelong condition with no cure, but you can manage it.

  15. mrfreddy

    “Start by adding high-fiber foods including fruits and vegetables. These fiber-rich foods may help stop spikes in blood sugar.”

    Notice the weasel word in there? Apparently the folks at diabetes.com don’t believe their own nonsense, not really…

    You gotta wonder. Wouldn’t people at a diabetes site occasionally check some recent research?

  16. Aaron Curl

    This kind of twighlight zone stuff is what my website will be about (when I get time). I believe there is a real world (our paleo thinking minds) and a fake world or pre-programmed thinking (govt, religion, big pharm and healthcare). There are very few people that understand what I’m saying because we have been trained our entire lives to be, well, stupid. Once you open your mind many things become clear and you eventually feel kind of alienated. And heres more crazy thoughts…..I believe that people walking in this fake world can’t comprehend the paleo world because of the brain starving food they eat! BAM! Grains starve your body and brain of key nutrients!

  17. Robbie Trinidad

    Ironic that I’m suffering from a gout attack right now. Some blame my low-carb lifestyle for my gout, but my first gout attack happened a decade before I even heard of low-carb dieting.

    Too bad Gary Taubes left out the chapter on gout in his book Good Calories, Bad Calories. Good thing someone posted the missing chapter on the net.

    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/10/05/gout/

    I’ve read that extra chapter. Very good stuff, but I understand why the publisher wanted to pare the book down.

  18. Brian

    I’ve pretty much become numb to this kind of stuff, which is a shame. It’s pretty much fail across the board. Don’t know how it is in TN, but here in TX it’s the same kind of drivel coming home in the elementary school packets. I kind of feel bad for the PE teacher. She’s caught the brunt way too many times.

    Oh, yes, we see the same nonsense in the government-approved information passed out at school.

  19. Isabel

    I am especially interested in the relationship between fructose and gout. My husband suffers from a genetic/familial form of gout and has been resistant to complying with allopurinol treatment. I think I have finally convinced him that the allopurinol will keep him from becoming permanently disfigured and disabled like some of his family members. Nevermind the pain that comes with gout attacks! I have recently read studies such as this one, that implicate high uric acid in the symptoms of hypertension, and diabetes for which he is at risk. So my battle is half won, I can get him to take the allopurinol, but we also have to control his diet. He’s given up beer and other high purine foods, but the hard part is convincing him that all the sugar and HFCS he “drinks” is bad for him. He is at a healthy weight, so he can’t understand that all the sodas, koolaid and super sweet teas and coffee need to be cut out of his diet.

    Did you play him the lecture by Dr. Johnson? Pretty convincing.

  20. Hilary Kyro

    Scholastic parent & child? Is it sponsored by Jell-O and Guardisil? Scholastic meant spastic…not athletic or social or ready for the “Real World” in the days when I was subjected to compulsory schooling.
    In the scholastic world it’s normal to be sick for 18 paid days a year. Rx Drugs are freebies and CoQ10 costs $30 “out-of-pocket”. “Out of Pockets” are obsene and immoral in the universe of public service. OOPS! Forget to tell y’all about the corrupt foundations of the food pyramid.
    I don’t think you need to be paranoid to believe we are being poisoned and genetically manipulated by our schoolmasters to be witless, frightened and compliant. Let’s stick a fork in the big fat liars, they are blood rare and well-marbled.

    I only have the one page in front of me, but that back of that one is a full-page ad for allergy medication.

  21. Natalie

    A note for the tragically unhip – an ‘above the butt’ tattoo is known as a tramp stamp.

    This lesson in colloquial English was brought to you by someone under the age of 35 who feels smug about it!. Heh heh 🙂

    I’m beyond tragically unhip. I hear songs on oldies radio that I don’t recognize because when those songs were top 40, I was already listening to oldies radio.

  22. Tammy

    The only thing I can say is cash, it’s got to be the money driving the industry. The drug industry, health industry, nutrition, heck everything. It’s like somehow everyone got the message about trans-fats, everyone knows they are really bad for you (but they are still in everything) but with sugar and HFCS the lobby must just be too big. One day last week I was talking to one of my coworkers and he actually said “HFCS is bad for you?” I just sat there for a minute and then said “Yes !?!?!” Like he didn’t know, but I guess people really don’t know.

    I guess he’s been watching those “sweet surprise” commercials.

  23. Karen J

    At the recent school teacher conference, I was given the standard survey. Yes, the conference was held at a convenient time, and yes I was satisfied with it. But in addition, I was given two extra survey questions:
    1. Do you think birthday treats should be sugar-free?
    2. Do you think children perform better at school without as much sugar?

    Of course I wrote a pretty harsh essay that took me a good 10 minutes, and when the person behind the desk noticed that, he asked if I was pro-sugar or anti-sugar. When I got finished with my rant about the school lunches being nothing but sugar, he said “I agree, but as long as the govt is involved, we have to feed them this way.”

    It really is all about the money. We’re all just ants in the matrix.

    I’m surprised he admitted as much. Bonus points for honesty.

  24. Becky

    Mom is T2D. She gets these wonderful little “mini-mags” in the mail (along with coupons for her testing strips). The most recent one had my father and I in stitches. A paraphrased quote

    “Hot, thin, professional woman [see pic!] found out she was T2D seven years ago. She DIDN’T TAKE HER DIAGNOSIS SERIOUSLY. Now, she says, if she’d known how AWESOME it would be she would have used injectible insulin pens when she found out. She says they gave her freedom, and some more nonsense on the American dream. Oh, and NOW she can eat whatever she wants!”

    Page ends. Ad begins.
    “This new injectible insulin pen is AWESOME. USE IT DIABETICS. IGNORE ALL THE WARNINGS THAT ARE LISTED ON THE REVERSE PAGE AND BUY BUY BUY.”

    By the time we’d cleared the tears from our eyes and had scanned the rest of it, we realized this entire 15 page mini-mag had been written JUST to advertise this product. Money, money, money…

    What a boon to all the hot, thin, professional diabetics.

  25. Laurie

    Pardon me while I vent. Continued ruminations have me frustrated about the ill effects of low Sulfur, high dietary soy, vegetable ‘fats’, cereal grains and fructose on my mother. Frustrated because her dementia (pleasant though it may be…..we’re lucky that she is happy- unusual for this malady) was preventable and it’s continuation is totally uncalled for and unneccessary.
    I’m fighthing monied interests (BIG PHARMA, BIG SUGAR, BIG GRAIN) and low information all around me including my smart, well-educated physician- (61 year old) sister. But she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know about nutrition. She takes Lipitor (for what I have no idea because women do not benefit) and she has metabolic syndrome (big surprise there) and she and her family eat almost nothing but addicting, brain-degrading cereals. It’s shocking. Her mother-in-law just died of Alzheimer’s and her father-in-law has Parkinson’s, her bro-in-law has schizophrenia and her other bro-in-law has scoliosis. Her husband, my brother-in-law, is dyslexic- he’s managed all these years but he’s severly dyslexic.
    I was just at a lecture a week ago about AD and I was reminded of the connection between AD and Parkinson’s during that talk. My sister’s father-in-law earned his PhD in Physics from Yale and worked on the Manhattan project, but what these poor suffering people don’t know about what constitutes a brain, heart and body healthy diet is legion. It makes me so angry.
    Sorry about the vent, In Science and Information Is Veritas (and a little heart and emotion too!)

    Vent away. Anger is the appropriate response.

  26. Chris

    Whenever I hear or read the word “manage” in regards to a disease, I immediately jump to the conclusion that the the party using the term–doctor, drug company, hospital— does not want you to get well. Instead they want to treat you for life and have your “condition” become a continuing stream of revenue. If you actually got better, you would cease to be a patient (paying customer). I remember when doctors sought to cure you instead of “manage your condition.” Stay paranoid.

    They pretty much say that on the site: it’s a lifelong condition with no cure, but you can manage it.

  27. mrfreddy

    “Start by adding high-fiber foods including fruits and vegetables. These fiber-rich foods may help stop spikes in blood sugar.”

    Notice the weasel word in there? Apparently the folks at diabetes.com don’t believe their own nonsense, not really…

    You gotta wonder. Wouldn’t people at a diabetes site occasionally check some recent research?

  28. Brooks

    @Anna

    Funny you mention the food they serve in hospitals. My dad also recently had a knee replacement and one evening the nurse came in and asked if he had diabetes because his blood sugar was abnormally high. I asked my dad when they took the blood sample and it was only 4 hours after breakfast. What did they give him for breakfast? Pancakes w/syrup, orange juice, and that syrupy canned fruit stuff. And toast with jam of course (no evil eggs though!).

    Fortunately (thanks in large part to Fat Head, since I couldn’t possibly get either of my parents to read GCBC) my dad has since gone fairly low carb. Still eats a lot more fruit than I think he should but pretty much cut out the bread completely. He got his cholesterol tested last week: HDL was higher than LDL (forget the numbers, but doc said they were “as good as he’s ever seen”). I told my dad to ask the doc if, in light of his good numbers, he could discontinue taking his statin. Doc said that would be too risky, better to be safe and stay on the drug. WTF. Still trying to convince my dad statins are bad.

  29. Aaron Curl

    This kind of twighlight zone stuff is what my website will be about (when I get time). I believe there is a real world (our paleo thinking minds) and a fake world or pre-programmed thinking (govt, religion, big pharm and healthcare). There are very few people that understand what I’m saying because we have been trained our entire lives to be, well, stupid. Once you open your mind many things become clear and you eventually feel kind of alienated. And heres more crazy thoughts…..I believe that people walking in this fake world can’t comprehend the paleo world because of the brain starving food they eat! BAM! Grains starve your body and brain of key nutrients!

  30. Robbie Trinidad

    Ironic that I’m suffering from a gout attack right now. Some blame my low-carb lifestyle for my gout, but my first gout attack happened a decade before I even heard of low-carb dieting.

    Too bad Gary Taubes left out the chapter on gout in his book Good Calories, Bad Calories. Good thing someone posted the missing chapter on the net.

    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/10/05/gout/

    I’ve read that extra chapter. Very good stuff, but I understand why the publisher wanted to pare the book down.

  31. Halle

    I don’t have insurance right now, and I’ve run out of metformin, so I absolutely have to be careful with what I eat right now. Went to a friend’s house for dinner, she went out of her way to make me a “diabetic friendly” meal — which was also btw vegetarian. I nibbled so as not to make her feel bad, but there really wasn’t a single dish that I could eat — because the whole damn world is full of misinformation about what really raises blood sugar. We usually watch movies when we get together, so next time, I’m going to pop Fat Head into the diskplayer. I only wish someone would also make a movie out of Lierre Keith’s book.

    That would be awesome, but the vegans would probably try to blow up the DVD-pressing plant.

  32. Jayne Hunter

    Hi Tom, New Zealand here. I soooo know what you mean, not diabetes, but check out the website of one of NZs leading nutritionists, Jennifer Bowden http://www.thinkingnutrition.co.nz/. The same woman who just badmouthed another nutritionist, for daring to suggest the butter isn’t really that bad. The article “The Wrong end of the Stick” was subtitled, “Misleading nutritional advice is still appearing in the mainstream media” and closed with this, “why it’s important to question anyone offering you nutrition advice”, all written without a trace of irony. Breathtaking!! if you really want to be depressed, she has written a series on dealing with IBS!!!! Still, blogs like yours are the, Other end of the Stick. Keep on blogging, I’m sure sanity will prevail in the end. Jayne

    Yeesh. We have a saying in the States about a certain end of the stick. It applies to her advice.

  33. Ramona Denton

    Thanks for a great blog Tom!! Not only are we up against the ghastly scholastic nonsense illuminated in this post, but we are also up against a deplorable lack of humor. I really appreciate that you bring the truth to light in many ways that make us laugh. We all need a good laugh now and then. Even in the midst of the war on bad nutrition… I guess I’m a fathead, too!

    Thank you, Ramona. If I didn’t laugh, I’d probably scream.

  34. Brian

    I’ve pretty much become numb to this kind of stuff, which is a shame. It’s pretty much fail across the board. Don’t know how it is in TN, but here in TX it’s the same kind of drivel coming home in the elementary school packets. I kind of feel bad for the PE teacher. She’s caught the brunt way too many times.

    Oh, yes, we see the same nonsense in the government-approved information passed out at school.

  35. Isabel

    I am especially interested in the relationship between fructose and gout. My husband suffers from a genetic/familial form of gout and has been resistant to complying with allopurinol treatment. I think I have finally convinced him that the allopurinol will keep him from becoming permanently disfigured and disabled like some of his family members. Nevermind the pain that comes with gout attacks! I have recently read studies such as this one, that implicate high uric acid in the symptoms of hypertension, and diabetes for which he is at risk. So my battle is half won, I can get him to take the allopurinol, but we also have to control his diet. He’s given up beer and other high purine foods, but the hard part is convincing him that all the sugar and HFCS he “drinks” is bad for him. He is at a healthy weight, so he can’t understand that all the sodas, koolaid and super sweet teas and coffee need to be cut out of his diet.

    Did you play him the lecture by Dr. Johnson? Pretty convincing.

  36. Auntie M

    This is why I don’t order that garbage for my students, and try to talk about critical thinking and how they need to do their own research. There’s an epidemic of this information all throughout the schools. I was furious when I discovered that our student advisory committee (students who talk to the principal about our school) were given a talk about “healthy whole grains” by the cafeteria manager and given free samples of chips and salsa. I can’t make too much noise, though. The budget it tight this year, and one fewer history teacher wouldn’t matter.

    Also, just because I feel the need to confess, I was stupid at my doctor’s office this morning, and told him I got bloodwork done when I didn’t. I tried to play it off like the lab lost the paperwork, but that backfired. I got another sheet to go get blood drawn. I feel guilty, but annoyed…if that makes sense. They’re just going to try and talk me into a statin or some other medication that I don’t need. I feel bad for being dishonest, but I feel like I’m ALWAYS dishonest when I’m there. Nodding and smiling and pretending like I care about the crap advice just gets old after awhile. I look at the flyers and brochures around all the doctors’ offices, and I want to scream. Because of my blood pressure medicine, I have to go every six months, so I’m stuck for the moment. Oh, well. They’ll probably forget by May, right?

    Sad but true … to remain healthy, we have to ignore most doctors.

  37. Ramona Denton

    I read in the LA Times this week that San Francicso is the first city to ban free toys in kid’s fast food meals. It sounded like a kid’s meal could have a free toy if it met certain criteria, like fewer than 600 cal, includes fruit and veg, and does not include a drink that is considered to be high in sugar or fat…

    One small law about free toys, one huge step in the wrong direction in a country that is supposed to be built on the principle of free enterprise…

    So discouraging!

    Very discouraging. And they’re doing this without a shred of evidence that it will make a difference. So glad I left that state.

  38. Carol Bardelli

    Another great read, Tom. This low carber will probably die of a stroke caused by watching lousy nutrition advice on television. This morning, the Today show did a segment with ‘Eat This, Not That’ author David Zinzenko, on how the government (USDA) promotes cheese consumption. Okay, I’m thinking, this is a good thing. Cheese is good. Then they go into the “sat fat causes heart disease” spiel. They pull out a giant pizza and a small vegetarian version. “Ask for a thin crust, less cheese, low fat toppings and lots of vegetables. I started screaming at the TV and quoting Fathead. My husband and kid loves it when I cause a scene. (Usually during a Dr. Oz segment on red meat and heart disease, or eat more whole grains. Oz really is an idiot, nutrition wise.)

    My blood pressure is on the low side, except when I watch those idiots on TV. I’m off to the kitchen now to make a low-carb moussaka … so much yummy fat from the lamb, cheese, cream, butter and eggs.

  39. Carol Bardelli

    Another great read, Tom. This low carber will probably die of a stroke caused by watching lousy nutrition advice on television. This morning, the Today show did a segment with ‘Eat This, Not That’ author David Zinzenko, on how the government (USDA) promotes cheese consumption. Okay, I’m thinking, this is a good thing. Cheese is good. Then they go into the “sat fat causes heart disease” spiel. They pull out a giant pizza and a small vegetarian version. “Ask for a thin crust, less cheese, low fat toppings and lots of vegetables. I started screaming at the TV and quoting Fathead. My husband and kid loves it when I cause a scene. (Usually during a Dr. Oz segment on red meat and heart disease, or eat more whole grains. Oz really is an idiot, nutrition wise.)

    My blood pressure is on the low side, except when I watch those idiots on TV. I’m off to the kitchen now to make a low-carb moussaka … so much yummy fat from the lamb, cheese, cream, butter and eggs.

  40. Hilary Kyro

    Scholastic parent & child? Is it sponsored by Jell-O and Guardisil? Scholastic meant spastic…not athletic or social or ready for the “Real World” in the days when I was subjected to compulsory schooling.
    In the scholastic world it’s normal to be sick for 18 paid days a year. Rx Drugs are freebies and CoQ10 costs $30 “out-of-pocket”. “Out of Pockets” are obsene and immoral in the universe of public service. OOPS! Forget to tell y’all about the corrupt foundations of the food pyramid.
    I don’t think you need to be paranoid to believe we are being poisoned and genetically manipulated by our schoolmasters to be witless, frightened and compliant. Let’s stick a fork in the big fat liars, they are blood rare and well-marbled.

    I only have the one page in front of me, but that back of that one is a full-page ad for allergy medication.

  41. Karen J

    At the recent school teacher conference, I was given the standard survey. Yes, the conference was held at a convenient time, and yes I was satisfied with it. But in addition, I was given two extra survey questions:
    1. Do you think birthday treats should be sugar-free?
    2. Do you think children perform better at school without as much sugar?

    Of course I wrote a pretty harsh essay that took me a good 10 minutes, and when the person behind the desk noticed that, he asked if I was pro-sugar or anti-sugar. When I got finished with my rant about the school lunches being nothing but sugar, he said “I agree, but as long as the govt is involved, we have to feed them this way.”

    It really is all about the money. We’re all just ants in the matrix.

    I’m surprised he admitted as much. Bonus points for honesty.

  42. Cynthia

    I see similar such nonsense all over. Most recently, there was an inane article about weight loss myths on the Livestrong site that got a bunch of comments about how it was useless and a waste of time to read. Unfortunately, these little publications are filled with quick thoughtless articles written by free-lancers who are too often unqualified and uneducated. They can’t be bothered to actually do any research (probably aren’t paid much either) and simply parrot or plagiarize some other article they read. Hence the misinformation gets recycled ad nauseum. Everyone “knows” this stuff, so it requires no thought or fact-checking to produce.

    Exactly. Who would ever fact-check “saturated fat clogs your arteries” ?

  43. Cynthia

    I see similar such nonsense all over. Most recently, there was an inane article about weight loss myths on the Livestrong site that got a bunch of comments about how it was useless and a waste of time to read. Unfortunately, these little publications are filled with quick thoughtless articles written by free-lancers who are too often unqualified and uneducated. They can’t be bothered to actually do any research (probably aren’t paid much either) and simply parrot or plagiarize some other article they read. Hence the misinformation gets recycled ad nauseum. Everyone “knows” this stuff, so it requires no thought or fact-checking to produce.

    Exactly. Who would ever fact-check “saturated fat clogs your arteries” ?

  44. Becky

    Mom is T2D. She gets these wonderful little “mini-mags” in the mail (along with coupons for her testing strips). The most recent one had my father and I in stitches. A paraphrased quote

    “Hot, thin, professional woman [see pic!] found out she was T2D seven years ago. She DIDN’T TAKE HER DIAGNOSIS SERIOUSLY. Now, she says, if she’d known how AWESOME it would be she would have used injectible insulin pens when she found out. She says they gave her freedom, and some more nonsense on the American dream. Oh, and NOW she can eat whatever she wants!”

    Page ends. Ad begins.
    “This new injectible insulin pen is AWESOME. USE IT DIABETICS. IGNORE ALL THE WARNINGS THAT ARE LISTED ON THE REVERSE PAGE AND BUY BUY BUY.”

    By the time we’d cleared the tears from our eyes and had scanned the rest of it, we realized this entire 15 page mini-mag had been written JUST to advertise this product. Money, money, money…

    What a boon to all the hot, thin, professional diabetics.

  45. Brooks

    @Anna

    Funny you mention the food they serve in hospitals. My dad also recently had a knee replacement and one evening the nurse came in and asked if he had diabetes because his blood sugar was abnormally high. I asked my dad when they took the blood sample and it was only 4 hours after breakfast. What did they give him for breakfast? Pancakes w/syrup, orange juice, and that syrupy canned fruit stuff. And toast with jam of course (no evil eggs though!).

    Fortunately (thanks in large part to Fat Head, since I couldn’t possibly get either of my parents to read GCBC) my dad has since gone fairly low carb. Still eats a lot more fruit than I think he should but pretty much cut out the bread completely. He got his cholesterol tested last week: HDL was higher than LDL (forget the numbers, but doc said they were “as good as he’s ever seen”). I told my dad to ask the doc if, in light of his good numbers, he could discontinue taking his statin. Doc said that would be too risky, better to be safe and stay on the drug. WTF. Still trying to convince my dad statins are bad.

  46. Jayne Hunter

    Hi Tom, New Zealand here. I soooo know what you mean, not diabetes, but check out the website of one of NZs leading nutritionists, Jennifer Bowden http://www.thinkingnutrition.co.nz/. The same woman who just badmouthed another nutritionist, for daring to suggest the butter isn’t really that bad. The article “The Wrong end of the Stick” was subtitled, “Misleading nutritional advice is still appearing in the mainstream media” and closed with this, “why it’s important to question anyone offering you nutrition advice”, all written without a trace of irony. Breathtaking!! if you really want to be depressed, she has written a series on dealing with IBS!!!! Still, blogs like yours are the, Other end of the Stick. Keep on blogging, I’m sure sanity will prevail in the end. Jayne

    Yeesh. We have a saying in the States about a certain end of the stick. It applies to her advice.

  47. Ramona Denton

    Thanks for a great blog Tom!! Not only are we up against the ghastly scholastic nonsense illuminated in this post, but we are also up against a deplorable lack of humor. I really appreciate that you bring the truth to light in many ways that make us laugh. We all need a good laugh now and then. Even in the midst of the war on bad nutrition… I guess I’m a fathead, too!

    Thank you, Ramona. If I didn’t laugh, I’d probably scream.

  48. Auntie M

    This is why I don’t order that garbage for my students, and try to talk about critical thinking and how they need to do their own research. There’s an epidemic of this information all throughout the schools. I was furious when I discovered that our student advisory committee (students who talk to the principal about our school) were given a talk about “healthy whole grains” by the cafeteria manager and given free samples of chips and salsa. I can’t make too much noise, though. The budget it tight this year, and one fewer history teacher wouldn’t matter.

    Also, just because I feel the need to confess, I was stupid at my doctor’s office this morning, and told him I got bloodwork done when I didn’t. I tried to play it off like the lab lost the paperwork, but that backfired. I got another sheet to go get blood drawn. I feel guilty, but annoyed…if that makes sense. They’re just going to try and talk me into a statin or some other medication that I don’t need. I feel bad for being dishonest, but I feel like I’m ALWAYS dishonest when I’m there. Nodding and smiling and pretending like I care about the crap advice just gets old after awhile. I look at the flyers and brochures around all the doctors’ offices, and I want to scream. Because of my blood pressure medicine, I have to go every six months, so I’m stuck for the moment. Oh, well. They’ll probably forget by May, right?

    Sad but true … to remain healthy, we have to ignore most doctors.

  49. Ramona Denton

    I read in the LA Times this week that San Francicso is the first city to ban free toys in kid’s fast food meals. It sounded like a kid’s meal could have a free toy if it met certain criteria, like fewer than 600 cal, includes fruit and veg, and does not include a drink that is considered to be high in sugar or fat…

    One small law about free toys, one huge step in the wrong direction in a country that is supposed to be built on the principle of free enterprise…

    So discouraging!

    Very discouraging. And they’re doing this without a shred of evidence that it will make a difference. So glad I left that state.

  50. Carol Bardelli

    Another great read, Tom. This low carber will probably die of a stroke caused by watching lousy nutrition advice on television. This morning, the Today show did a segment with ‘Eat This, Not That’ author David Zinzenko, on how the government (USDA) promotes cheese consumption. Okay, I’m thinking, this is a good thing. Cheese is good. Then they go into the “sat fat causes heart disease” spiel. They pull out a giant pizza and a small vegetarian version. “Ask for a thin crust, less cheese, low fat toppings and lots of vegetables. I started screaming at the TV and quoting Fathead. My husband and kid loves it when I cause a scene. (Usually during a Dr. Oz segment on red meat and heart disease, or eat more whole grains. Oz really is an idiot, nutrition wise.)

    My blood pressure is on the low side, except when I watch those idiots on TV. I’m off to the kitchen now to make a low-carb moussaka … so much yummy fat from the lamb, cheese, cream, butter and eggs.

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