Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Public Health Crisis Nobody Wants To Talk About

 A couple of weeks ago we went to the zoo (probably last time this year, as I fully expect them to be closed after the school vacation is over). We drank tea and coffee with some cake. The stuff was prepackaged and when I looked, I discovered that mine had more sugar than a Magnum (ice cream), it was like 36g. 

A grown up of an average weight isn't supposed to consume more than 50g added sugar per day, and WHO even recommends to further cut your consumption to the half of this amount. Guess who's eating the most of these cookies, cakes and sweets? Since kids weight less than adults they should eat even less sugary things, because the upper limit is supposedly tied to your weight. No wonder we have this obesity problem in the West!

There is much talk about the problem, but no action. Yet now we have a virus among us which is (I hear) especially dangerous for overweight people, but again, we are looking for a quick fix for our problems, like mass vaccinations, instead of promoting healthy lifestyle, of which nutrition is a very big part.


  1. I agree that there is problem; but I think that education inside the family and refusing to buy the junk is the cure, not legislation. Money talks and companies listen when we refuse to buy their products. Laws take away our freedom to choose for ourselves. Another angle for behavior change is through insurance. Obese people should have higher rates, period. They have more health problems and therefore should pay more. Again, money is an incentive to changing behaviors. Just my two cents.

  2. Well, we kinda knew that smoking could cause cancer already in the 1930s yet it took legislation to finally turn the tide in the 2000s. Big corporations are often predatory and an average consumer isn't always bright enough. You don't really have any choice since all commercial baked goodies have that much sugar. At the very least, they should put a health warning on their products.

  3. The really vile thing isn't all that sugar, it's what makes it possible for people to tolerate all that sugar.

    A good rule of thumb then: stay away from any drink that contains phosphoric acid.

    It's only present as an ingredient in order to keep the person drinking whatever it's in from vomiting up the otherwise intolerable amount of sugar.

    That sugar tends to be present in such large quantities as a way to mask the bitterness of the caffeine as well as other things that may also be intolerable.

    And so the shortcut is just to avoid any drink that contains phosphoric acid.

    Most people don't learn about this until they've had a few "mystery" kidney stones, and even then it's only as a result of doing your own research.

    Generally GPs don't talk about the subject of "mystery" kidney stones as a result of over-consumption of phosphoric acid in the diet.

    There are Internet memes about this, such as the ones about "chunky pee enthusiasts" who drink excessive amounts of a diabolical drink that says 666 on the side of it in Hebrew, so it's not as if this isn't known by quite a few people.

  4. Soft drinks is a whole other topic, but even some juice contains too much sugar. I remember my friend and I used to lunch at McDonald's and their "healthy choice" was orange juice which when I once looked at it contained 48g sugar in one portion!

    I sometimes think that the EU want to support European sugar manufacturers because they still use the old guidelines of "100g sugar a day nutritional norm" on many packages, that's why all the companies don't even bother to reduce the amounts. I mean the USA updated their official recommendations, why not not over here?

    What you are saying about phosphoric acid is very interesting, but imo, sugar is addictive on its own.