We Can Blame Sugar All We Like – But We're Only Creating More Problems For Ourselves

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  • _Terrapin_
    _Terrapin_ Posts: 4,302 Member
    edited January 2016

    Karlottap wrote: »
    I wonder how many medical schools receive funding, and grants, from food and drug companies? This will guide the verbiage that doctors are taught too! Just sayin! Plus, they are bombarded by drug companies weekly on what to use and what they need to say to patients, rather than educating themselves on nutrition! If they could take the time, and actually look, and learn about macros, they would be able to help many! Until doctors change what they are saying to their patients, the obesity and diabetes pandemic will continue!

    Doctors, or at least the ones I speak with, like my PCP, really do not have time to stop and listen to a pharma rep. They even post signs outside their entrances discouraging a rep from entering. When I visit my PCP we discuss Steelers football and he did ask me last year what I was doing to lose weight 2 years in a row. He also showed me a phone app for me to access medical and lab tests and we discussed how the government burden has increased for him to document records and use more online services. He had to let a staff person go and hire a PT person to help with the demand and cost of running a private practice. Drug companies can longer do 'dine and dash' and a few other popular methods from the 90's. A guy in our local running group has a private practice and he said he never sees a pharma person and hasn't in years. We discuss nutrition and is fairly spot on and we agreed obesity is more about over consumption and lack of movement then anything else.

  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,145 Member
    bisky wrote: »
    Spices, it is all about the spices :) . I am currently living in Northern Italy and have taken a few cooking classes for sauces. The chef has never added sugar to her sauces. I asked about this, and was told "NO! None is needed if done properly. You Americans add too much sugar to everything!"

    complete rubbish as Italians have one of the most insatiable sweet tooth's around. My mom was born in Italy and I have been there several times. The last time was for my cousins wedding and the dessert spread was mobbed and destroyed in about 20 minutes. so don't give me this "Americans are the only ones that add sugar to stuff" bs...
  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,911 Member
    I don't need the inventors of Tiramisu telling me others use too much sugar.
    (I should make tiramisu again.)
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,145 Member
    I don't need the inventors of Tiramisu telling me others use too much sugar.
    (I should make tiramisu again.)

    or gelato ..no sugar in that ...oh wait..
  • bisky
    bisky Posts: 816 Member
    edited January 2016
    ndj1979 wrote: »
    bisky wrote: »
    Spices, it is all about the spices :) . I am currently living in Northern Italy and have taken a few cooking classes for sauces. The chef has never added sugar to her sauces. I asked about this, and was told "NO! None is needed if done properly. You Americans add too much sugar to everything!"

    complete rubbish as Italians have one of the most insatiable sweet tooth's around. My mom was born in Italy and I have been there several times. The last time was for my cousins wedding and the dessert spread was mobbed and destroyed in about 20 minutes. so don't give me this "Americans are the only ones that add sugar to stuff" bs... [/quote

    You don't need to be so nasty or dismissive! It is a discussion. Not life or death. I DID NOT SAY THEY DON'T USE SUGAR BUT AN ITALIAN CHEF STATED TO ME WE USE TOO MUCH IN REGARDS TO SAUCES!

    I live in Northern Italy and the cuisine is different than in Southern Italy. I was discussing the sauces not desserts and many of us in the air force stationed here have complained about food not being "sweet"l enough. Especially pastries, breads and cookies...they are more like crackers here in Northern Italy. Plus gelato is creamier than ice cream but less sugar is used according to some people but it differs from each gelato maker's recipe so it is hard to compare.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited January 2016
    _Terrapin_ wrote: »
    Bloomberg View: In Mexico, a Soda Tax Success Story. This week's Bloomberg has a short write-up on the tax on soda in Mexico. Paraphrasing the article, sugary drinks are the primary driver of obesity, purchases of sugary drinks dropped 12%, obesity is becoming a global epidemic the greatest group helped by the tax are the poor which has also helps lower their need for medical care which is costly. I can see this becoming a more popular idea in the coming years. Last bullet point: Sugary drinks should be eliminated from the federal food stamps program. Food for thought folks.

    This is an interesting piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/04/upshot/soda-industry-struggles-as-consumer-tastes-change.html?_r=0

    Also:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-sugary-drink-tax-hearing-met-0910-20150909-story.html

    Summary: proposal (which is described as fizzling) is to add a penny per oz tax on sugary drinks (note that of course this includes "pop" not soda). ;-)

    Result would be: A two-liter bottle of pop would go up by about 68 cents, a six-pack of 12-ounce cans would see a 72-cent increase and a 24-can case of soda a $2.88 bump. [Note: like the newspaper, apparently, I also have been known to switch back and forth from pop to soda in one sentence. I always thought this was because I tried to adopt "soda" when in college out east.]

    BUT: Chicago already has a 3 percent tax on retail sales of soft drinks in cans or bottles and a 9 percent tax on the wholesale price of the syrup for fountain drinks.

    I wonder what the effect of the existing tax has been. I do not have an impression that it has made a difference here much, and I suspect that there's a higher consumption of such drinks by those of lower income (based on the US overall stats I've seen -- see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2743027/ and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2329746/, among others), although have not seen city-specific stats. So does that make it problematic as a tax that disproportionately is paid by lower income people?

    I tend to think food stamps shouldn't include soda/diet soda, but just writing that makes me feel a bit queasy as where do we draw the line (and the line seems drawn in some questionable places currently, as I do think it should cover a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket, so it's not like we can avoid line drawing).
  • hoyalawya2003
    hoyalawya2003 Posts: 631 Member
    What bad thing will happen if added/excess sugar is removed from the modern diet? Answer...nothing.
    Nothing bad will happen if people stop eating sugary cereals, or candy. Still plenty of sugars in natural foods.
    Comparing it with the fat-scare is unfair. Humans actually NEED fat.

    Nothing bad would have happened from switching to low fat, either, except for the fact that excess carbs were substituted for it. The law of unintended consequences will most likely lead to unhealthy substitutions in the "sugar is the devil" phase as well.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited January 2016
    susan100df wrote: »
    I wonder if companies should be required to list calories in readable text when advertising food, especially restaurants. Would it help if Pizza Hut had to list the calories?

    Aren't we already requiring this (for chains)? It's being rolled out. [Edit: I see that was addressed long ago. The perils of responding before reading to the end.]

    Most of the lunch places around my office and many chains (and all fast food, I believe) locally do this, so I can say it wouldn't have mattered to me when I was overeating. I KNEW I was overeating, and I avoided looking at the calories as much as possible.

    However, I am in favor. It's helpful to me now, and many people probably do overeat unintentionally. A Big Mac and large fries, yeah, they know the calories are high. Some of the sandwiches in, say, an Au Bon Pain? It's not always obvious from the menu what would be crazy high and what wouldn't be. Also, I think having to list the calories tends to be a deterrent to having everything be really high, and encourages the restaurant to have some lower cal options.

    I don't think this should apply to smaller restaurants (non chains). It's too burdensome, they aren't a huge portion of the restaurant meals in the US (except for people like me who probably dine out more and tend to be more interested in food and thus can be expected to understand better what the calories are likely to be), and people can ask questions (and the restaurant has a huge interest in making customers happy by being responsive and agreeing to alterations requested). Plus, it's not like there's a shortage of chains in the US if people really don't want to eat somewhere without knowing the calories.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited January 2016
    _Terrapin_ wrote: »
    Cut taxes for farmers to grow a taxable crop.

    I definitely think any relevant subsidies (corn) should be ended before we focus on taxing sugar (typically HFCS, since it's cheap) as a broad solution to the issue. But if specific localities want to try it I think that's fine. That's how the US system works to some extent -- gather evidence involving different policies in different places and then see what results and what worked and didn't.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    susan100df wrote: »
    While I don't think sugar is the devil, I do know that the foods I overeat have an abundance of sugar. If that ingredient isn't in the food, I have zero interest in overeating it. Thats the same for many people. Discussing is helpful. Being slammed in the forum for wanting to discuss is harmful. Prohibiting the discussion because you don't believe it exists does not help anyone. Just because you don't have the issue, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    I could get plenty obese without ever touching sugary treats. Pizza, Mexican food, Chinese food, BBQ, burgers and french fries, etc. I'd much sooner eat 3,000 calories of Mexican food than I would 3,000 calories of cake, pie, donuts or candy bars. Sweets are actually pretty easy for me to control, they're rarely the thing I have interest in overeating.

    I only commented because of this post..

    (a) No one eats pizza because it is sweet. If it's sweet it's not good pizza. (My opinion, but I bet it's widely shared.)

    (b) Lots of pizzas don't have any sugar (beyond an irrelevant bit used to feed the yeast, perhaps, and maybe a bit in the tomato sauce, as it's a traditional addition to tomato sauces to cut the supposed bitterness). I make pizza at home and other than the bit for the yeast, no sugar. Are these less appealing as a result? No, they are not.

    Also, 23 g in a large pizza meant to be split among many people isn't much, and likely is mostly the sugar inherent in the tomatoes. So if the argument is that people wouldn't overeat pizza as much without tomato sauce, probably true, although there are delicious white pizzas.
  • bisky
    bisky Posts: 816 Member
    lemurcat12lemurcat12
    "I tend to think food stamps shouldn't include soda/diet soda, but just writing that makes me feel a bit queasy as where do we draw the line (and the line seems drawn in some questionable places currently, as I do think it should cover a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket, so it's not like we can avoid line drawing).[/quote]

    Hmm, you got me thinking about that...here on base at the commissary I see signs saying WIC approved food. I googled WIC and found the program was revised in 2014. It is quite wordy but I don't see where soft drinks and diet sodas are not allowed.

    "The updates to the WIC food package make pivotal improvements to the program and better meet the diverse nutritional needs of mothers and their young children," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The foods provided by the WIC program, along with education that focuses on the critical role of breastfeeding and proper nutrition, help to ensure that every American child has the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong."

    Along with a more than 30 percent increase in the dollar amount for children's fruits and vegetables purchases, the changes also:

    expand whole grain options available to participants,
    provide yogurt as a partial milk substitute for children and women,
    allow parents of older infants to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables instead of jarred infant food if they choose, and;
    give states and local WIC agencies more flexibility to meet the nutritional and cultural needs of WIC participants.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,051 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    susan100df wrote: »
    While I don't think sugar is the devil, I do know that the foods I overeat have an abundance of sugar. If that ingredient isn't in the food, I have zero interest in overeating it. Thats the same for many people. Discussing is helpful. Being slammed in the forum for wanting to discuss is harmful. Prohibiting the discussion because you don't believe it exists does not help anyone. Just because you don't have the issue, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    I could get plenty obese without ever touching sugary treats. Pizza, Mexican food, Chinese food, BBQ, burgers and french fries, etc. I'd much sooner eat 3,000 calories of Mexican food than I would 3,000 calories of cake, pie, donuts or candy bars. Sweets are actually pretty easy for me to control, they're rarely the thing I have interest in overeating.

    I only commented because of this post..

    (a) No one eats pizza because it is sweet. If it's sweet it's not good pizza. (My opinion, but I bet it's widely shared.)

    (b) Lots of pizzas don't have any sugar (beyond an irrelevant bit used to feed the yeast, perhaps, and maybe a bit in the tomato sauce, as it's a traditional addition to tomato sauces to cut the supposed bitterness). I make pizza at home and other than the bit for the yeast, no sugar. Are these less appealing as a result? No, they are not.

    Also, 23 g in a large pizza meant to be split among many people isn't much, and likely is mostly the sugar inherent in the tomatoes. So if the argument is that people wouldn't overeat pizza as much without tomato sauce, probably true, although there are delicious white pizzas.

    How many slices are in the typical American Large pizza? Ours range from 6 to 8 slices, and not big ones either! Probably too much for one small person, but not enough for 2 people.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,051 Member
    Here's our large pizza, looks bigger in the pic lol
    o193e85p5dvf.jpg
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    robertw486 wrote: »
    Personally I don't care if people add more added sugars, or added fats, or added proteins to their diets. None of them are bad in a properly balanced diet, but all of them have the potential to push out other needed nutrients in a poorly balanced diet. And that seems to be where most people fail, allowing excess of certain things to enter their diet, thus either overeating to compensate, or just not doing well at overall nutrition.

    Yes, I agree. That's why I try to promote understanding nutrition and a focus on what you are getting in your diet. When I make sure I am eating as I should (getting in protein, fiber, vegetables, healthy fats, so on), it's really not an issue, because I have limited calories for sweet treats (with their added sugar and sat fat)--even if I weren't counting calories I would realize this was so, because I am mindful about how much I eat (I actually only recently started logging again after not doing it for months). I don't like the focus (of the media, of some diet guru types) on avoid specific demon foods (sugar, carbs, whatever) because I think people get a weird idea that eating any of that food is bad and not an understanding of why or dosage or how you can fit it in if you want it, and they often remain ignorant of what they really should be eating and continue with an unbalanced diet (which often can lead to difficulties, as they aren't eating a satisfying diet). I'm not opposed to people thoughtfully deciding to cut out added sugar (or go super low fat or do low carb or any other of the many options that can be done in a healthful fashion). I'm opposed to the spread of misinformation and the evangelism of a specific choice (as with that one poster). I do think it's important to understand that there's a lot more to eating heathy AND to pay attention to what works for you.
    When you look at that chart about people in Okinawa, many here would freak out on the numbers. Nine percent protein, six percent fat, next to nothing for added sugars. And yet they manage to make food taste good without all the processing and adding cheap crap to make it taste good. And I think that is part of the issue with the more western diets as well. They tend to combine things and mask flavors, and we end up with high calorie stuff that is high in fats, carbs and maybe even protein. But I've met very few people that could binge on apples or fruit like they can with soda. Or people that eat huge amounts of fatty meat like they can take down cheescake or fatty cookies.

    Maybe I'm weird, but I can overeat traditional homemade foods easier than anything. But I've eaten primarily those foods for a long time. My love for Indian food isn't because it's super processed (it is not, and I haven't found a frozen version that I care much for). In fact, it all started back when I was a kid and we'd occasionally eat at the home of this Indian couple who were friends of my parents. I tend to think the issue with "processed" foods isn't that they are harder to avoid overeating (they aren't for me at all--I'm not really tempted by a storebought cookie like a good homemade one, and I've yet to find a pre-packaged meal I enjoy), but that they cause food to be so cheap, always around, and available without having to actually cook or bake. (I do love trying restaurants, but there the food isn't really different from homemade -- not in the places I am talking about -- just they will add the things like butter you might be more sparing with at home, and they can be tempting because there are SO MANY things to be eaten. My diet is so much more varied vs. what my grandparents could eat, and that's a matter of exposure and the opportunity to eat foods from so many different cuisines and try creative chef-made dishes that they wouldn't have had an opportunity to do. And to do it without having to learn how to make them and put in hours cooking.)
  • FunkyTobias
    FunkyTobias Posts: 1,776 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    susan100df wrote: »
    While I don't think sugar is the devil, I do know that the foods I overeat have an abundance of sugar. If that ingredient isn't in the food, I have zero interest in overeating it. Thats the same for many people. Discussing is helpful. Being slammed in the forum for wanting to discuss is harmful. Prohibiting the discussion because you don't believe it exists does not help anyone. Just because you don't have the issue, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    I could get plenty obese without ever touching sugary treats. Pizza, Mexican food, Chinese food, BBQ, burgers and french fries, etc. I'd much sooner eat 3,000 calories of Mexican food than I would 3,000 calories of cake, pie, donuts or candy bars. Sweets are actually pretty easy for me to control, they're rarely the thing I have interest in overeating.

    I only commented because of this post..

    (a) No one eats pizza because it is sweet. If it's sweet it's not good pizza. (My opinion, but I bet it's widely shared.)

    (b) Lots of pizzas don't have any sugar (beyond an irrelevant bit used to feed the yeast, perhaps, and maybe a bit in the tomato sauce, as it's a traditional addition to tomato sauces to cut the supposed bitterness). I make pizza at home and other than the bit for the yeast, no sugar. Are these less appealing as a result? No, they are not.

    Also, 23 g in a large pizza meant to be split among many people isn't much, and likely is mostly the sugar inherent in the tomatoes. So if the argument is that people wouldn't overeat pizza as much without tomato sauce, probably true, although there are delicious white pizzas.

    How many slices are in the typical American Large pizza? Ours range from 6 to 8 slices, and not big ones either! Probably too much for one small person, but not enough for 2 people.

    And the sugar (most of it naturally occurring ) accounts for a tiny fraction of the calories

    Using the pizza hut example, a slice of pizza (12" hand tossed pepperoni ) has 220 calories and 1 gram of sugar. That's 4 calories from sugar. Less than 2%
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited January 2016
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    susan100df wrote: »
    While I don't think sugar is the devil, I do know that the foods I overeat have an abundance of sugar. If that ingredient isn't in the food, I have zero interest in overeating it. Thats the same for many people. Discussing is helpful. Being slammed in the forum for wanting to discuss is harmful. Prohibiting the discussion because you don't believe it exists does not help anyone. Just because you don't have the issue, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    I could get plenty obese without ever touching sugary treats. Pizza, Mexican food, Chinese food, BBQ, burgers and french fries, etc. I'd much sooner eat 3,000 calories of Mexican food than I would 3,000 calories of cake, pie, donuts or candy bars. Sweets are actually pretty easy for me to control, they're rarely the thing I have interest in overeating.

    I only commented because of this post..

    (a) No one eats pizza because it is sweet. If it's sweet it's not good pizza. (My opinion, but I bet it's widely shared.)

    (b) Lots of pizzas don't have any sugar (beyond an irrelevant bit used to feed the yeast, perhaps, and maybe a bit in the tomato sauce, as it's a traditional addition to tomato sauces to cut the supposed bitterness). I make pizza at home and other than the bit for the yeast, no sugar. Are these less appealing as a result? No, they are not.

    Also, 23 g in a large pizza meant to be split among many people isn't much, and likely is mostly the sugar inherent in the tomatoes. So if the argument is that people wouldn't overeat pizza as much without tomato sauce, probably true, although there are delicious white pizzas.

    How many slices are in the typical American Large pizza? Ours range from 6 to 8 slices, and not big ones either! Probably too much for one small person, but not enough for 2 people.

    Apparently 8 large slices (the medium is also 8 slices, some chains with the same size large cut it into 12 slices). The large pizza is 14", which may be more helpful.

    I also don't know why Pizza Hut is the pizza we are discussing. I can overeat pizza easily, but I don't even like Pizza Hut pizza.

    For convenience (the information is available -- I tend to get pizzas in local places where it is not available), I shall use Lou Malnati's again.

    One slice (1/8 pie) of a large deep dish pepperoni pizza from Lou Malnati's (normal amount to eat would be 2 slices at most, as it's deep dish) = 2 g sugar (sausage only has 1 g, whereas "mushroom, onion" has 4 grams--I guess people are eating onion for the sugar!).

    Checking out the thin crust, the pepperoni has 1 gram of sugar per slice (and 8 slices per pie). A slice of Round Table pepperoni similarly has 1 gram. (And apparently the Pizza Hut isn't that out of the ballpark based on the numbers I saw quoted above -- maybe someone was messing with us with the MFP entry.)
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,051 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    susan100df wrote: »
    While I don't think sugar is the devil, I do know that the foods I overeat have an abundance of sugar. If that ingredient isn't in the food, I have zero interest in overeating it. Thats the same for many people. Discussing is helpful. Being slammed in the forum for wanting to discuss is harmful. Prohibiting the discussion because you don't believe it exists does not help anyone. Just because you don't have the issue, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    I could get plenty obese without ever touching sugary treats. Pizza, Mexican food, Chinese food, BBQ, burgers and french fries, etc. I'd much sooner eat 3,000 calories of Mexican food than I would 3,000 calories of cake, pie, donuts or candy bars. Sweets are actually pretty easy for me to control, they're rarely the thing I have interest in overeating.

    I only commented because of this post..

    (a) No one eats pizza because it is sweet. If it's sweet it's not good pizza. (My opinion, but I bet it's widely shared.)

    (b) Lots of pizzas don't have any sugar (beyond an irrelevant bit used to feed the yeast, perhaps, and maybe a bit in the tomato sauce, as it's a traditional addition to tomato sauces to cut the supposed bitterness). I make pizza at home and other than the bit for the yeast, no sugar. Are these less appealing as a result? No, they are not.

    Also, 23 g in a large pizza meant to be split among many people isn't much, and likely is mostly the sugar inherent in the tomatoes. So if the argument is that people wouldn't overeat pizza as much without tomato sauce, probably true, although there are delicious white pizzas.

    How many slices are in the typical American Large pizza? Ours range from 6 to 8 slices, and not big ones either! Probably too much for one small person, but not enough for 2 people.

    And the sugar (most of it naturally occurring ) accounts for a tiny fraction of the calories

    Using the pizza hut example, a slice of pizza (12" hand tossed pepperoni ) has 220 calories and 1 gram of sugar. That's 4 calories from sugar. Less than 2%

    I'm not quibbling over the sugar, was just curious in the size difference, if any. Yep, ours are around the same " as yours.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,051 Member
    I don't like domino's or pizza hut either, they're all pizza dough and skimpy on the toppings. Their nutritional info is just easier to find.
  • FunkyTobias
    FunkyTobias Posts: 1,776 Member
    I don't like domino's or pizza hut either, they're all pizza dough and skimpy on the toppings. Their nutritional info is just easier to find.

    Cosign.

    Someone brought it up earlier, so I already had the nutritional information handy .
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited January 2016
    bisky wrote: »
    "I tend to think food stamps shouldn't include soda/diet soda, but just writing that makes me feel a bit queasy as where do we draw the line (and the line seems drawn in some questionable places currently, as I do think it should cover a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket, so it's not like we can avoid line drawing).

    Hmm, you got me thinking about that...here on base at the commissary I see signs saying WIC approved food. I googled WIC and found the program was revised in 2014. It is quite wordy but I don't see where soft drinks and diet sodas are not allowed.

    I believe they ARE allowed for SNAP. (We are talking about SNAP, not WIC.) I was responding to Terrpin's question as to whether they should be.

    Seems like they wouldn't be for WIC: "WIC foods include infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, and canned fish. Soy-based beverages, tofu, fruits and vegetables, baby foods, whole-wheat bread, and other whole-grain options were recently added to better meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants."