Before “Sugar: the bitter truth”

      96 Comments on Before “Sugar: the bitter truth”

In case you missed it in comments, a reader recommended this documentary about sugar from 1986. I’d never heard of it before, and obviously it wasn’t popular enough when it aired to make much of an impression on the public, considering what’s happened since then.

I was pleased to see Dr. Linus Pauling mention that there’s no correlation across populations between saturated fat intake and heart disease, but there is a correlation between heart disease and sugar. Too bad the anti-fat hysterics weren’t listening. We’ve spent another 25 years since then shooting at the wrong target.

The only place the documentary went off the rails a little was when it got preachy about how many advertisements for sugary foods are directed at kids. Yes, that’s right, kids see a ton of ads for junk foods. But unless I’m missing something here, they don’t respond to those ads by getting in their cars, driving to the store, and spending their hard-earned money on Lucky Charms. Their parents do that for them.

I was also amused when the host announced near the end that new federal rules would soon require food manufacturers to list the amount of sugar and other ingredients on food packages – the implication being that people would respond to the labels by consuming less sugar. Yeah, that worked out really well, didn’t it? Now, of course, the same happy prediction is being made by those who want to force restaurants to display calorie counts. You’d think they would have learned their lesson, but as Milton Friedman once said, in government failure is usually viewed as a justification to do the same thing again, only bigger.

By pure coincidence, I happen to be in the middle of an audiobook narrated by the host of this documentary, John Rubenstein. He’s an excellent reader who can change his voice quite dramatically. He even goes a good version of a rough-and-tough, deep-voiced cop.


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96 thoughts on “Before “Sugar: the bitter truth”

  1. Zooko

    I’ve been attributing that insight to you. It is a doozy! Please if you can give me a citation to when and where Milton Friedman said it.

    Regards,

    Zooko

    I’ve read a few of his books, read his Newsweek column back in the day, watched interviews with him when he was still alive. I can’t recall when or where he made that statement, but it stuck with me.

  2. js290

    John Yudkin in Pure, White, and Deadly said:

    “But right at the outset I can make two key statements that no one can refute:
    “First, there is no physiological requirement for sugar; all human nutritional needs can be met in full without having to take a single spoon of white or brown or raw sugar, on its own or in any food or drink.
    “Secondly, if only a small fraction of what is already known about the effects of sugar were to be revealed in relation to any other material used as a food additive, that material would promptly be banned.”

    Well said.

  3. Zooko

    I’ve been attributing that insight to you. It is a doozy! Please if you can give me a citation to when and where Milton Friedman said it.

    Regards,

    Zooko

    I’ve read a few of his books, read his Newsweek column back in the day, watched interviews with him when he was still alive. I can’t recall when or where he made that statement, but it stuck with me.

  4. Mikey

    I was dismayed to see this film group honey and maple syrup in the same category as table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. That is literally worse than comparing butter to corn oil. I’d be less dismayed if thirty years later people recognized the difference between a naturally occurring food and a refined fragment of food. Sadly, thousands of fear-mongering, insulin-phobic low-carbers still struggle to scare people away from two very benign sweeteners. Sigh…We can only hope they eventually realize how flawed their outlook on insulin is. Makes for a better cup of tea.

    A while back, Chris Masterjohn wrote a post about a fascinating study comparing the health effects of refined sugar vs. honey:

    High-Fructose Corn Syrup is Sweet Poison, Honey Is Yummy — Against “Pulling a Campbell”

    http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2010/10/high-fructose-corn-syrup-is-sweet.html

    One group of rats ate 65% of their calories as refined sugar, another ate the same amount as honey, and incidentally another ate the same percentage as starch.

    The group eating refined sugar had a worsening of every marker tested.

    No negative changes occurred in the starch and honey group – actually I think there were some improvements.

    Unless you have ESTABLISHED, irreversible glucose intolerance – the only rational reason to even consider a low-carb diet – moderate amounts of honey are likely harmless, and possibly health-promoting.

    These rats ate 65% percent of their calories as honey without the slightest negative effect. That’s reassuring to me, considering at my most indulgent I couldn’t comfortably eat 15% of my calories as honey in a day without becoming completely sick of it.

    And yes these were rats and we’re humans, but humans are probably far more adapted to naturally occurring sugar than rats. Most rats would have a tough time picking an apple or peeling a banana. Rats likely evolved eating practically zero sugar, yet here they are capable of healthfully gorging on a natural FOOD that happens to be sweet.

  5. TonyNZ

    Haven’t had time to watch the video yet, but I always rated Linus Pauling as one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. Good to know that notion is not going to be dismissed.

  6. David

    Mikey,

    I’m glad you clarified that.

    Honey is not a ‘simple’ sugar – it has hundreds of compounds in it, many of which are known to be health promoting. The myopic low-carb community shunned honey when they solved the natural world by reducing it to carbs, fat and protein – The Idiot’s Guide to Unsustainable Dieting.

    Some low-carbers are actually placing their perfectly healthy children on carb restricted diets *shudder*, if you can believe that. They could allow their kids access to a health-promoting sweetener to satisfy that craving. Instead, they complete deprive them of any sweetness and have them gorge on twizzlers and coke when they’re not under the orthorexic watch of their parents – and actually believe them when they tell their high-strung, obsessive mother they don’t touch the stuff. Another great strategy from the low-carb camp.

    I allow my kids real, locally made maple syrup on their oatmeal and send them to school with club soda sweetened with raw honey. Their friends parents have told me they refuse to drink coke at birthday parties. They later told me it tastes too ‘burny’ in their mouths, they prefer their honey soda as we like to call it. And if two leaner, more energetic kids were ever born I haven’t met them. But I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before their livers explode due to the fructose I’m allowing, LOL.

  7. js290

    John Yudkin in Pure, White, and Deadly said:

    “But right at the outset I can make two key statements that no one can refute:
    “First, there is no physiological requirement for sugar; all human nutritional needs can be met in full without having to take a single spoon of white or brown or raw sugar, on its own or in any food or drink.
    “Secondly, if only a small fraction of what is already known about the effects of sugar were to be revealed in relation to any other material used as a food additive, that material would promptly be banned.”

    Well said.

  8. Greg Smith

    I make decisions on what food to buy based on the labels, so yeah that did work out well. Thanks to the internet, I can usually find out how many calories a restaurant food has weather they list it or not.

    I read labels all the time, but they didn’t produce the results their proponents predicted by any means.

  9. Milton

    The thing that has impressed me the most since I started reading up more on health and diet is the approach to sugar. People who promote all kinds of dietary approaches (low-fat, low-carb, vegetarian, etc) have one thing in common, they advise us to lower our sugar intake, particularly processed sugar such as HFCS. You have to wonder how dramatic a difference it would make if people began to consciously avoid processed sugar. Even if they made no other changes to their diets, I suspect it would result in notable weight loss and improvements in overall health.

    In my mind, it’s the closest thing to a dietary “magic bullet.”

    That’s what Denise Minger pointed out in her speech at the Ancestral Health Symposium: sure, the Ornish diet and other vegetarian diets improve health outcomes — because they all ban sugar and white flour.

  10. Mikey

    I was dismayed to see this film group honey and maple syrup in the same category as table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. That is literally worse than comparing butter to corn oil. I’d be less dismayed if thirty years later people recognized the difference between a naturally occurring food and a refined fragment of food. Sadly, thousands of fear-mongering, insulin-phobic low-carbers still struggle to scare people away from two very benign sweeteners. Sigh…We can only hope they eventually realize how flawed their outlook on insulin is. Makes for a better cup of tea.

    A while back, Chris Masterjohn wrote a post about a fascinating study comparing the health effects of refined sugar vs. honey:

    High-Fructose Corn Syrup is Sweet Poison, Honey Is Yummy — Against “Pulling a Campbell”

    http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2010/10/high-fructose-corn-syrup-is-sweet.html

    One group of rats ate 65% of their calories as refined sugar, another ate the same amount as honey, and incidentally another ate the same percentage as starch.

    The group eating refined sugar had a worsening of every marker tested.

    No negative changes occurred in the starch and honey group – actually I think there were some improvements.

    Unless you have ESTABLISHED, irreversible glucose intolerance – the only rational reason to even consider a low-carb diet – moderate amounts of honey are likely harmless, and possibly health-promoting.

    These rats ate 65% percent of their calories as honey without the slightest negative effect. That’s reassuring to me, considering at my most indulgent I couldn’t comfortably eat 15% of my calories as honey in a day without becoming completely sick of it.

    And yes these were rats and we’re humans, but humans are probably far more adapted to naturally occurring sugar than rats. Most rats would have a tough time picking an apple or peeling a banana. Rats likely evolved eating practically zero sugar, yet here they are capable of healthfully gorging on a natural FOOD that happens to be sweet.

  11. TonyNZ

    Haven’t had time to watch the video yet, but I always rated Linus Pauling as one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. Good to know that notion is not going to be dismissed.

  12. David

    Mikey,

    I’m glad you clarified that.

    Honey is not a ‘simple’ sugar – it has hundreds of compounds in it, many of which are known to be health promoting. The myopic low-carb community shunned honey when they solved the natural world by reducing it to carbs, fat and protein – The Idiot’s Guide to Unsustainable Dieting.

    Some low-carbers are actually placing their perfectly healthy children on carb restricted diets *shudder*, if you can believe that. They could allow their kids access to a health-promoting sweetener to satisfy that craving. Instead, they complete deprive them of any sweetness and have them gorge on twizzlers and coke when they’re not under the orthorexic watch of their parents – and actually believe them when they tell their high-strung, obsessive mother they don’t touch the stuff. Another great strategy from the low-carb camp.

    I allow my kids real, locally made maple syrup on their oatmeal and send them to school with club soda sweetened with raw honey. Their friends parents have told me they refuse to drink coke at birthday parties. They later told me it tastes too ‘burny’ in their mouths, they prefer their honey soda as we like to call it. And if two leaner, more energetic kids were ever born I haven’t met them. But I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before their livers explode due to the fructose I’m allowing, LOL.

  13. Steve G

    Great find! This needs a remake with today’s production values. I think the “sugar is bad” message is an easier sell than “low carbs are good.”

    You may already know that John is the son of Arthur, the concert pianist.

    I did, yes. I don’t know if he was a news anchor before becoming an actor, but I remember seeing him in some TV and movie roles.

  14. Eko

    “Yes, that’s right, kids see a ton of ads for junk foods. But unless I’m missing something here, they don’t respond to those ads by getting in their cars, driving to the store, and spending their hard-earned money on Lucky Charms. Their parents do that for them.”

    True, but the parents have to put extra effort into fighting the power of nag. By nagging the manufacturers of Sugar Coated Honey Puffs (TM) about all the nagging caused by their commercials, parents can perhaps make parenting a tad easier.

    Now, that doesn´t mean parents should demand that politicians should *ban* those commercials (there is good reason to be very restrictive when it comes to giving politicians that kind of censorship powers), but on the other hand I am fine with parents complaining to the manufacturers – that´s well within their free speech rights.

    (Of course, I understand why it bothers you when they nag you about those nag-inducing commercials, because usually what is implied is that someone should BAN THIS FILTH!111!!!11)

    I’m all for parents taking it up with the manufacturers themselves. Kids of course have nagged parents forever, and it’s up to parents to say no.

  15. Ron_Mocci

    WOW what a great find , I really enjoyed this (: Isn’t it so sad what we knew back then ! I’d just like to say Thank You so much ,Tom

    We can all thank Ricardo. He brought it to my attention.

  16. Marilyn

    John Yudkin’s “Sweet and Dangerous” was published in 1972. Nobody paid any attention to that one, either.

    And now we’re paying for it.

  17. Jason Sandeman

    Tom, I am curious as to what audiobook you are talking about?

    For sure, I LOVE how the government here in QC is trying to limit how much advertising is directed at kids through legislation. The funny thing is, most television up here is from the US, so it’s pointless to have a law.
    I know that I can tell my kid no when it comes to a demand, but others are not so adamant. The problems lie with the parents. I think it’s just easier to give into the demands than to ACTUALLY be a parent. Who knew?
    The only time a calorie or carb count would be worthwhile in a restaurant is if there was an EXACT recipe for everything. In that case, all the legislation does is make it so the Rotten Ronnie and other corporations can comply, and edge out the mom and pop place. Why?
    It doesn’t take a genius to know that the burgers aren’t made at the golden arches, they are just cooked/reheated there. There is a level of control built right into the recipes by way of SOP (standard operating proceedures) that mom and pop just can’t compete with.
    So, sure – those laws look good on paper, especially to those great big corporations. Less competition is always good for monopol — err… business.

    I’m listening to “Mystery” by Jonathan Kellerman. I’ve read or listened to most of his novels.

  18. LaurieLM

    I’m wondering what my motivations are to hammer my point(s) so vehemently against Ornish and Campbell. They seem so unworthy of my time and consideration
    Vegan diets aren’t very commonplace and will never rise much higher (they can’t because they are unsustainable, disgusting and unpalatable except for the miniscule minority of ascetics among us), but I guess I’m more against the dangerous ‘low-fat dogma’ that O & C have become the shills for. That is what I realize is so prevalent and disasterous. Ornish and his ilk are just barking at the ankles of the trillion dollar low-fat food, high-grain, Big Pharma industries. But O & C are doing some of the work for them quite well. Former Prez Clinton is now in the news about being on ‘Ornish’ and T Colin C. has a movie out and was interviewed by Bill Maher.
    Vegan is a non-started, but our culture and medical establishment has taken the baton and is off on low-fat anyway. Why else would my 86-year-old Dad with dangerously low total cholesterol, 155 mg/dL, be told to make sure to continue to eat a low-fat diet and very little meat and to continue taking 80 mg/day of Lipitor?. But something has to replace that ‘bad’ fat in the diet (that we evolved our enormous complex human brains by eating for millions of years) and the replacement?- it is grain, cereal and carbohydrates and sugar. Yeah, like those, new invented ‘foods’ from the past 100 years, give or take a few years, couldn’t possibly be the cause of the obesity, heart disease and diabetes epidemics!

  19. Dragonmamma/Naomi

    So far I’ve only watched part one, but it sure sounds like a familiar story!
    I think one of the problems with sugary “treats” is that they’re a form of art that almost everyone can create and appreciate. Even though I never buy them, I love looking in the windows of bakeries and candy stores to see the amazing things that are created for various holidays. What we need are ways to be similarly creative with healthy foods. The closest thing I’ve seen are bento boxes, but even those depend heavily on rice for the really spectacular effects.

  20. Firebird

    I’m all for listing content in a restaurant menu if for nothing else than to count my carbs.

    BTW, a good book from 1978 that I recommend is “Everything you always wanted to Know about Nutrition (But Were Afraid to Ask)” by Dr. David Reuben. You can get it used on Amazon for pennies. Great quote from that book, “Want to eliminate cholesterol from your diet? Prepare to get sick.”

  21. Ricardo

    Wow i never though it would posted. Glad i contributed to something useful.

    It’s very useful indeed. It was quite eye-opening to see the warnings about sugar being aired in 1986.

  22. Greg Smith

    I make decisions on what food to buy based on the labels, so yeah that did work out well. Thanks to the internet, I can usually find out how many calories a restaurant food has weather they list it or not.

    I read labels all the time, but they didn’t produce the results their proponents predicted by any means.

  23. Firebird

    I don’t buy this putting over honey and maple syrup. I’ve used both in the past and it makes me feel just as bad as any other sweetener. They’re carbs and the nutritional components within both substances is not enough for me to put that stuff in my body. To me, it is poison.

  24. Milton

    The thing that has impressed me the most since I started reading up more on health and diet is the approach to sugar. People who promote all kinds of dietary approaches (low-fat, low-carb, vegetarian, etc) have one thing in common, they advise us to lower our sugar intake, particularly processed sugar such as HFCS. You have to wonder how dramatic a difference it would make if people began to consciously avoid processed sugar. Even if they made no other changes to their diets, I suspect it would result in notable weight loss and improvements in overall health.

    In my mind, it’s the closest thing to a dietary “magic bullet.”

    That’s what Denise Minger pointed out in her speech at the Ancestral Health Symposium: sure, the Ornish diet and other vegetarian diets improve health outcomes — because they all ban sugar and white flour.

  25. J. B. Rainsberger

    I only know the Friedman quote highly paraphrased as “the rookie manager approach”: if it doesn’t work, then do more of it.

    I look forward to watching this documentary. Thank you for the reference.

    I guess there are a lot of rookie managers in government.

  26. Steve G

    Great find! This needs a remake with today’s production values. I think the “sugar is bad” message is an easier sell than “low carbs are good.”

    You may already know that John is the son of Arthur, the concert pianist.

    I did, yes. I don’t know if he was a news anchor before becoming an actor, but I remember seeing him in some TV and movie roles.

  27. FrankG

    @Steve Parker M.D. sincere thanks for the link regarding a decline in *added* sugars. As Tom says… “It’s a start” but I’d draw attention to the conclusion “Although the consumption of added sugars in the United States decreased between 1999–2000 and 2007–2008, primarily because of a reduction in soda consumption, mean intakes continue to exceed recommended limits. ” and I’d pose this question: what (if anything) does this say about fruit juice consumption? What about added rapidly-digested “starches” like Maltodextrin — there are just too many ways to hide “sugar” unless you really know how to read the list of ingredients.

    Gary Taubes in GCBC gives us the history reaching back to Banting and before… T.L. Cleave, Rudkin etc… etc… none of this is new. I find it so laughable on the Diabetes Forums I frequent when nay-sayers characterise Low-Carb as a new-fangled and un-tested idea!

  28. Eko

    “Yes, that’s right, kids see a ton of ads for junk foods. But unless I’m missing something here, they don’t respond to those ads by getting in their cars, driving to the store, and spending their hard-earned money on Lucky Charms. Their parents do that for them.”

    True, but the parents have to put extra effort into fighting the power of nag. By nagging the manufacturers of Sugar Coated Honey Puffs (TM) about all the nagging caused by their commercials, parents can perhaps make parenting a tad easier.

    Now, that doesn´t mean parents should demand that politicians should *ban* those commercials (there is good reason to be very restrictive when it comes to giving politicians that kind of censorship powers), but on the other hand I am fine with parents complaining to the manufacturers – that´s well within their free speech rights.

    (Of course, I understand why it bothers you when they nag you about those nag-inducing commercials, because usually what is implied is that someone should BAN THIS FILTH!111!!!11)

    I’m all for parents taking it up with the manufacturers themselves. Kids of course have nagged parents forever, and it’s up to parents to say no.

  29. Dave, RN

    “Consumption of added sugars is decreasing in the United States”

    I wonder how much the consumption of aspartame and splenda has increased?

    I’m not sure, but I don’t think most people have lost their taste for sweet things.

  30. Ron_Mocci

    WOW what a great find , I really enjoyed this (: Isn’t it so sad what we knew back then ! I’d just like to say Thank You so much ,Tom

    We can all thank Ricardo. He brought it to my attention.

  31. Marilyn

    I’m with Firebird. Yes, honey (the raw stuff) and maple syrup probably have more nutritional value than corn syrup, but they all have the same effect on me, and I live happily without them.

    I stay away from anything that jacks up my blood sugar. There are no required nutrients in those foods that I can’t get somewhere else.

  32. Marilyn

    John Yudkin’s “Sweet and Dangerous” was published in 1972. Nobody paid any attention to that one, either.

    And now we’re paying for it.

  33. Jason Sandeman

    Tom, I am curious as to what audiobook you are talking about?

    For sure, I LOVE how the government here in QC is trying to limit how much advertising is directed at kids through legislation. The funny thing is, most television up here is from the US, so it’s pointless to have a law.
    I know that I can tell my kid no when it comes to a demand, but others are not so adamant. The problems lie with the parents. I think it’s just easier to give into the demands than to ACTUALLY be a parent. Who knew?
    The only time a calorie or carb count would be worthwhile in a restaurant is if there was an EXACT recipe for everything. In that case, all the legislation does is make it so the Rotten Ronnie and other corporations can comply, and edge out the mom and pop place. Why?
    It doesn’t take a genius to know that the burgers aren’t made at the golden arches, they are just cooked/reheated there. There is a level of control built right into the recipes by way of SOP (standard operating proceedures) that mom and pop just can’t compete with.
    So, sure – those laws look good on paper, especially to those great big corporations. Less competition is always good for monopol — err… business.

    I’m listening to “Mystery” by Jonathan Kellerman. I’ve read or listened to most of his novels.

  34. LaurieLM

    I’m wondering what my motivations are to hammer my point(s) so vehemently against Ornish and Campbell. They seem so unworthy of my time and consideration
    Vegan diets aren’t very commonplace and will never rise much higher (they can’t because they are unsustainable, disgusting and unpalatable except for the miniscule minority of ascetics among us), but I guess I’m more against the dangerous ‘low-fat dogma’ that O & C have become the shills for. That is what I realize is so prevalent and disasterous. Ornish and his ilk are just barking at the ankles of the trillion dollar low-fat food, high-grain, Big Pharma industries. But O & C are doing some of the work for them quite well. Former Prez Clinton is now in the news about being on ‘Ornish’ and T Colin C. has a movie out and was interviewed by Bill Maher.
    Vegan is a non-started, but our culture and medical establishment has taken the baton and is off on low-fat anyway. Why else would my 86-year-old Dad with dangerously low total cholesterol, 155 mg/dL, be told to make sure to continue to eat a low-fat diet and very little meat and to continue taking 80 mg/day of Lipitor?. But something has to replace that ‘bad’ fat in the diet (that we evolved our enormous complex human brains by eating for millions of years) and the replacement?- it is grain, cereal and carbohydrates and sugar. Yeah, like those, new invented ‘foods’ from the past 100 years, give or take a few years, couldn’t possibly be the cause of the obesity, heart disease and diabetes epidemics!

  35. Dragonmamma/Naomi

    So far I’ve only watched part one, but it sure sounds like a familiar story!
    I think one of the problems with sugary “treats” is that they’re a form of art that almost everyone can create and appreciate. Even though I never buy them, I love looking in the windows of bakeries and candy stores to see the amazing things that are created for various holidays. What we need are ways to be similarly creative with healthy foods. The closest thing I’ve seen are bento boxes, but even those depend heavily on rice for the really spectacular effects.

  36. Firebird

    I’m all for listing content in a restaurant menu if for nothing else than to count my carbs.

    BTW, a good book from 1978 that I recommend is “Everything you always wanted to Know about Nutrition (But Were Afraid to Ask)” by Dr. David Reuben. You can get it used on Amazon for pennies. Great quote from that book, “Want to eliminate cholesterol from your diet? Prepare to get sick.”

  37. Lori

    There was a good deal of research on blood sugar levels, especially in psychiatry, more or less between the world wars. Do any of these subject ring a bell?

    From 1931: Blood Sugar Studies in Abnormal Mental States
    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/77/318/525.abstract

    From 1939: INFLUENCE OF THE BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL ON THE WAVE AND SPIKE FORMATION IN PETIT MAL EPILEPSY
    http://archneurpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/summary/41/6/1111

    From 1922: SUGAR TOLERANCE IN DEMENTIA PRAECOX AND OTHER MENTAL DISORDERS
    http://archneurpsyc.highwire.org/cgi/content/summary/8/2/184

    From 1926: THE BLOOD SUGAR CURVE IN MENTAL DISEASE
    http://archneurpsyc.highwire.org/cgi/content/summary/16/4/414

    From 1937: THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL AS INFLUENCED BY BLOOD SUGAR
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/85/2217/608.short

    From 1933: Metabolism of normal and tumour tissue Respiration in fructose and in sugar-free media
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1252950/

    From 1921: THE USE OF A HIGH FAT DIET IN THE TREATMENT OF DIABETES MELLITUS
    http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/summary/27/6/699

    From 1934: THE EFFECTS OF CIGARETTE SMOKING UPON THE BLOOD SUGAR
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/79/2042/165.short

    From 1918: THE BLOOD SUGAR IN THYROID AND OTHER ENDOCRINE DISEASES
    http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/summary/XXII/2/160

    I’m starting to think sugar isn’t good for us …

  38. Ricardo

    Wow i never though it would posted. Glad i contributed to something useful.

    It’s very useful indeed. It was quite eye-opening to see the warnings about sugar being aired in 1986.

  39. Firebird

    I don’t buy this putting over honey and maple syrup. I’ve used both in the past and it makes me feel just as bad as any other sweetener. They’re carbs and the nutritional components within both substances is not enough for me to put that stuff in my body. To me, it is poison.

  40. J. B. Rainsberger

    I only know the Friedman quote highly paraphrased as “the rookie manager approach”: if it doesn’t work, then do more of it.

    I look forward to watching this documentary. Thank you for the reference.

    I guess there are a lot of rookie managers in government.

  41. timmah

    Honey tastes better after its been diluted with clean water and fed to yeast for 3 to 6 months.

  42. Jeff

    Watched Fat Head the other day and this today – good stuff. I was always in the “there’s nothing wrong with sugar” camp but have recently had my mind changed.

    My only comment is in regards to labeling & advertising – it’s so hard to get true information as to what is in our food. True, the outcomes of labeling may not have come to fruition but given the power of the food manufacturer lobbies it would be so difficult otherwise to be easily educated about what is in our food. What stuck out to me in this particular video is how manufacturers will “trick” labeling to bury sugar by breaking the various sugars apart.

    As for advertising I agree – kids aren’t riding their trikes to the store to buy bags of sugar cereal – parents own that. At the same time the contracts that schools have to provide food are such that it would be nearly impossible to truly uncover what is in food in schools. Maybe labels aren’t the right way to make this a more transparent process, but as long as food manufacturers are able to spread FUD about their products I’m for any kind of education we can get.

    Thanks again for the great info. Enjoyed the movie and the blog.

    I find that the less processed food I eat, the less nutrition labels matter to me. Meat, eggs, fish, green vegetables … Not much I need to know from a label. I do check the labels on nuts to make sure they’re dry roasted, not roasted in some nasty vegetable oil.

  43. FrankG

    @Steve Parker M.D. sincere thanks for the link regarding a decline in *added* sugars. As Tom says… “It’s a start” but I’d draw attention to the conclusion “Although the consumption of added sugars in the United States decreased between 1999–2000 and 2007–2008, primarily because of a reduction in soda consumption, mean intakes continue to exceed recommended limits. ” and I’d pose this question: what (if anything) does this say about fruit juice consumption? What about added rapidly-digested “starches” like Maltodextrin — there are just too many ways to hide “sugar” unless you really know how to read the list of ingredients.

    Gary Taubes in GCBC gives us the history reaching back to Banting and before… T.L. Cleave, Rudkin etc… etc… none of this is new. I find it so laughable on the Diabetes Forums I frequent when nay-sayers characterise Low-Carb as a new-fangled and un-tested idea!

  44. Patricia

    EVERYONE knows sugar is bad for you. It’s common knowledge. Ask anyone and the response will likely be “Yeah, I know it’s bad for you and I shouldn’t be eating it, but I love it.” John Rubenstein ended this documentary with . . . “No reputable medical authority will ever insist that sugar is necessary for anyone; and no health professional will ever say that a sugar free diet is dangerous.” Yet, what do the “authorities” tell us to load up on? Sugar in the form of grains, potatoes and fruit.

    If a sugar free diet would not be considered dangerous, how can anyone tell us that a carb free diet is dangerous? I always hear “But you NEED carbs! Everything in moderation! You need your grains!” Thankfully, I listened to my family doctor when he told me over 30 years ago “Sugar is sugar is sugar. Sugar by any other name is still sugar. Don’t touch it, don’t let your kids touch it.” I’m glad I listened to him.

    Notice that everyone in this film (with one exception) was thin to very thin, even the sugar addicts? The hair and clothing styles were a real blast from the past!

    As always, Tom, I found your post to be informative and entertaining. Thanks!

    I found their statistics on now many people were fat or diabetic kind of sad in retrospect. Those figures would an improvement over today.

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