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[dupe] Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away from Bad Diets (well.blogs.nytimes.com)
280 points by drsilberman on Aug 10, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 191 comments

coke contains virtually no calories.

and a large coke from mac ds about 100% of your rđa of sugar.

then people wonder why so many people have diabetes - an inability of your body to process sugar...

One thing with the beverages is that if you choose to not drink them, you will most likely be the weird one in most social situations. Especially if you cut on alcohol. I have nothing against drinks in general, but they should be an exception, not the rule. We should not drink beer or cola or any of this stuff on a daily or almost daily basis. Mainly because they introduce a truckload of useless calories that do no good to us and do not even fill our appetite.

Now, that's the logic, and it's a sound logic, go explain that to people every time you are drinking water in a pub and they go: "ehm, uh, you don't drink?". Which, by the way, if not explained properly can seem like you are a recovering alcoholic, if explained properly will make you sound like a food/diet nazy.

It depends on the social situations. In my experience (yay, anecdotes) you only need to assert your preferences once or twice (maybe less with soft drinks, maybe more with alcohol, depending on the situation and people involved).

Anyway. You shouldn't be surprised if people react incredulously when you're not just deviating from the social norm but opting out of entire categories. "I only drink water" is no different in that regard than "I'm a vegan" or "I only eat raw food". It's a perfectly fine preference, but you're going to be an exception and exceptions tend to stand out.

I'm German but don't like beer and feel rather dispassionate about football (or "soccer" to Americans). It used to take some explaining when I was younger (i.e. teens and early 20s) but at 30 I find that barely anyone[0] cares about it -- simply because they've learned that they don't have to agree with everyone about everything to be friends.

[0]: Except die-hard football fans who can't imagine anyone not at least enjoying the sport or uber-machos who think drinking beer is a requirement for being a man. But those traits tend to be obnoxious enough on their own.

Another anecdotal experience: zero of my friends drink soda at all. We're all in the US in our late 20s. It's definitely a cultural thing, because we're all different kinds of people with different diets, different weights, etc. No one is diabetic.

On the other hand, 100% of us drink alcohol, and so far the only people I've met who are my age, from the US, and don't drink are recovering alcoholics and people whom I've later discovered are extremely anxious and worried about the possibility of feeling "out of control" (which is a totally valid reason not to drink).

> You shouldn't be surprised if people react incredulously when you're not just deviating from the social norm but opting out of entire categories

People react that way because they take your statement as a moral judgement.

And they have a negative reaction because they have cognitive dissonance with what is presented to them. They're forced to either reject the alternate moral judgement and be hostile to it (in some sense, not directly), or accept it and change their behavior.

Even subjective "preferences" such as "I like soft-drinks" have logical consequences, or implicit decisions associated with them. I.e. "I am fine with hurting my long-term health because I enjoy the immediate rush of soft-drinks." Not every can live their lives in a completely evidence-based, logically-optimized way.

Hey, I am not German, but I live in Munich. I hear what you are saying, I am Italian, so try not caring about football there, it's tough - people accept it, but it makes small talk very difficult sometimes.

On alcohol and drinks in general, even at 30, I think people still care, especially the ones you meet for the first time. Simply put, not drinking alcohol may signal a bad past (alcoholism), or being a potential nut job (diet nazy or gym pumper on steroids). This is actually useful information in social interactions, so I do understand why it is so widely used. On the other end, being vegan is so much accepted and so common and fashionable right now that the signal you get out of it is rather poor, so it's used less to pre-select or to make quick judgments.

>On alcohol and drinks in general, even at 30, I think people still care, especially the ones you meet for the first time. Simply put, not drinking alcohol may signal a bad past (alcoholism), or being a potential nut job (diet nazy or gym pumper on steroids). This is actually useful information in social interactions, so I do understand why it is so widely used.

You say useful and understandable, I say shitty and judgmental.

I don't know - I'm italian as well and I never had any particular problems with not liking football. Although I may be somewhat of a special case, as I seem to associate with people who don't care particularly for the sport.

By the way, how are you finding life in Munich as an Italian? I've been thinking about moving after I complete my degree, so I'm quite interested to see what other people's experiences are in that regard.

Hey, fantastic and best experience so far in Munich and I have lived in other 6 different cities so far. Said that, Munich can feel a little bit dull sometimes, but if you get a good circle of friends you'll have a great time, especially if you are into outdoors. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have more questions.

>> Simply put, not drinking alcohol may signal a bad past (alcoholism), or being a potential nut job (diet nazy or gym pumper on steroids)

I'd sure appreciate it if you didn't spread that hateful FUD in this setting. There's quite a wide range between sedentary and 'gym pumper on steroids', please be respectful to those who choose to occupy a different place on that continuum than you.

>Now, that's the logic, and it's a sound logic

Some people like the taste of soda or the effects of alcohol. That's the logic, and it trumps the fact that "useless" calories are being consumed. We aren't rational automatons.

My solution for when I don't feel like drinking. Fizzy water with a lime in it, people assume its a vodka tonic.

This is the same as a friend of mine. He drink Cranberry juice. It's too strong to just drink, so you sip it. Because of that, it makes it seem like you have drink on you.

Or people could just stop being so nosey and judgemental. Option 1 is easier though.

Yep, lime and soda is common in UK pubs for people who don't want alcohol but also don't want a sugar overdose.

To clarify a little bit - 'soda' in the UK refers only to fizzy water / 'club soda' - i.e. unsweetened.

(this isn't the case in the US, where it can refer to pretty much any canned sweetened drink - Coca Cola / Sprite / Dr Pepper / etc)

Thanks. I've long wondered what soda actually is!

Sparkling water?

That seems like a really good idea, might try it next time

This has been my go-to for years.

i used to think the same way, but you'd be surprised how quickly people accept that you don't drink (soda or alcohol). and if you're continuously getting harassed for it it's a sign you should shed those people as quickly as sugar.

Agreed. It's a subconscious power test by members of a group. Once they decide that you are stronger than them then they will leave it alone - and respect you for sticking with your principles. If they don't then, yeah, the group is toxic.

I don't drink soda, and I've never had anyone comment.

Regarding alcohol: I kind of understand the skepticism about people who don't drink. Drinking usually puts you in a more honest, less controlled, and less guarded condition, which makes drinking with other people almost a trust exercise. Not drinking at a pub is kind of like bringing your sword into a gathering where everyone else agreed to leave theirs' at the door.

That's an excellent analogy. My wife doesn't drink, but we had some of my friends over for board games and some beers. By the end of the night she was quite annoyed and none of us could figure out why. She was annoyed that they were making jokes at my expense. She was mad that I was making jokes at their expense. She thought it was rude. Imagine being in a less trusted social situation than "wife and best friends", maybe a business meeting, where the client wasn't drinking but everyone else was. It's easy to see why there would be a social stigma against the one person who wasn't drinking, just like there would be a stigma against the one person who was if the shoe was on the other foot.

That's an interesting explanation. But I believe it is primarily a group behavior thing. When someone doesn't behave like everybody else, it raises suspicion or can even be seen as offensive.

I'm not drinking for over 6 years just because I can't see pleasure in alcohol intoxication.

All these comments like "you're not respecting social norms" feel kind of offensive. And now this sword straw man.

Sorry, but not drinking simply makes me not drunk. I'm never "more honest" and "less guarded" when I'm drunk (that's why I don't like it - I fight the drunk state of mind every time).

Anecdotally, I don't know anybody under the age of 30 that regularly drinks soft drinks anymore. They aren't terribly good and they are about the worst thing you can put into your body—a can of coke has more than 40gs of sugar.

Alcohol might be a tough one to kick. It's so intertwined with social life I don't see it going away anytime soon.

I live & work in an urban area with young people. Hardly any of us drink soft drinks. When I return home to visit my family (small midwestern town) everybody drinks soda all the time. Most shoppers have a couple of cases of soda in their shopping cart at the grocery. My parents and siblings have 2nd refrigerators loaded with soft drinks. Every meal out includes them.

I think it would be easy to think that soft drinks are going out of style if you're living in a tech bubble (like I probably am), but when you get outside of this circle you can see the massive amount of soft drinks that are still being consumed.

Coke's and Pepsi's marketing has actually responded to that trend - rather than try to win non-drinkers, they try to get current drinkers to buy more.

Obviously, the second part of that strategy is to create a range of products to cater to the kids like us not drinking their syrup.

The largest quantity of beverage stocked at my company's developer office is standard Coca Cola. It's the younger people whom I see grabbing those rather than the diet sodas.

My experience with soda is the same. Once my friends and I stopped drinking it, it actually becomes pretty disgusting to have something with that much sugar in it.

Among college educated folks, you'll probably not see so many sugar soft drink drinkers, but among the poor they still consume them.

>a can of coke has more than 40gs of sugar.

A can of Coke has 33g of sugar.

And here we learn that:

(1) a can of coke varies in volume based on different places in the world. 330 ml in europe, 355 ml in north america.

(2) Sweetness of a can of coke varies by country. 10.6g sugar per 100ml in France, 11g sugar per 100ml in USA, 12g sugar per 100ml in Canada.

A canadian can of coke is 355ml and 42g of sugar, per the label printed on it.

A uk can of coke is 330ml and 35g of sugar.

It depends on the amount of CocaCola in the can, and the formula for that particular distribution.

Eg. USA has a 12oz can with 39 grams of sugar. UK has a 330ml can with 35 grams of sugar. (They aren't required to provide more precise accounting and so that 35 or 39 are rounded figures). These are close to the same.

Of course, if one is using 'coke' generically, there are many that have more than 40 grams. A 12oz can of A&W root beer is at 46 grams, as is a 12oz Mountain Dew.

Why not then just standardize, or at least attempt to, the method by which we compare sugar-content in these discussions.

I.e. "4 grams of sugar per 100ml of coke"

From a health standpoint its like arguing the relative merits of 3 packs a day of smoking vs 3.1415 packs a day, "eh".

Also unit dosage for virtually all consumers is the unfortunately somewhat variable can.

Yeah... back in the day, us kids would try to find the soda with the highest cane sugar content. Now, I try to find the lowest net carbs in everything I eat or drink. Arguing about 33g vs 40g in a soda does seem non-productive.

Europeans buying a coke can in the US will not stop at the 330ml point. They are gonna continue drinking until the can is finished.

39 g is far more representative of the overwhelmingly likely sugar consumption in the US than any per ml measure, and far more useful when discussing diets.

No, in the US it's ~40g. It might be different in other countries or with cane sugar instead of HFCS.

sounds like the social situation needs to change, not the explanation.

assuming you're in your 20s now... don't worry, by age 35 there's less explaining and less criticizing.

To expand upon this, typically, people at that age have learned moderation or are teetotalers due to choice or recovery. Not a lot of binge drinking woo-boys/girls in their mid to late 30s and beyond, and the exceptions to that rule are probably faced with some societal judgement. The alcoholics (more so the ones in denial) and the one-off regular drinkers that scoff at teetotalers are probably the only judgement giving ones.

I was probably getting close to alcoholism myself and felt touchy around people that didn't drink (well, only the ones that announced it every chance they got, but then it feels like a judgement not a statement). I drank every day basically (and not ONE beer either), but when I went to moderate myself it wasn't too difficult; now I drink less than a handful of times a month.

Standard XKCD: https://xkcd.com/1534/

I have a colleague who completely avoids alcohol. No particular reason for it other than one day he decided to do it because his friend wanted to do it. His friend didn't keep it up, but he did for ~30 years now. I have nothing for or against alcohol and I like some drinks now and then (mostly avoid beers, just don't like the taste).

I have to respect this guy that he keeps it up so long, even though he has nothing to gain or lose from it. I would have figured at least one day, what the heck, it's not a big deal, not doing anything bad or anything. But he decided he won't drink, so he doesn't. Mad respect.

I've heard of people avoiding alcohol after a positive (A;G) or (G;G) test for http://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Rs1799971.

>go explain that to people every time you are drinking water in a pub

Why do you feel a need to explain it? I've never had any reaction at all with 'no thanks, I'm good'. You don't have to say 'I'm on a diet' 'I don't drink' 'that crap will kill you' or anything else. Just no thanks. If someone does ask about your water, say 'I'm taking it easy' or 'I'm good'. Or get a club soda and lime.

Successfully explaining things gets people to shut up. I've never been able to say 'no thanks, I'm good' without there being follow up questions.

Another side of this, is that if you buy/drink sugary beverages a lot outside of those social situations, you're also likely to get criticized about this. Every other peer tries to remind how unhealthy coke is, how one can clean rust with it and so on. And this is not out of health concerns, but just the same case of social situation conformance stereotypes - one's expected to drink while partying, but don't they dare to do the same alone at home.

And when some people start bringing up Coke's supposed rust-cleaning properties, others start bringing up Snopes and other contrary evidence.

Right now, there's too much "health noise" surrounding sodas, because they make so much money and so many people like them. We can't get a good "health signal" to "health noise" ratio to tell if these have healthy and/or unhealthy outcomes when we drink them. And so many of us just avoid them.

Alcohol is a social lubricant which, yes, we shouldn't rely upon. But there are a great many things we should do that we don't - I don't see alcohol as a huge problem in that regard (unless, you know, it becomes a huge problem for you personally).

I also have friends who don't drink, including some when I was at university (a high time for most people's blood alcohol levels) - few people cared. Though my one suggestion to you is to drink something other than water, even if it's just club soda. Aside from anything else, getting something that costs money will likely make the pub staff friendlier.

My excuse, when I decide I need one is "I'm just not feeling like I want to drink today." If anyone tries to put the thumb screws on me (which only occasionally happens), I say "I've never folded in front of peer pressure before, it's unlikely I'm going to fold today. I don't feel like drinking today." Usually that's enough to get people to drop the subject. If they still continue to the point that I've had enough, I leave. If my friends can't respect my decisions without fighting me on it, I don't want to be around them. They'll have way more fun getting drunk without me anyway, so I'll leave them to it and see them another day when either I do feel like a drink or they don't feel the need to coerce me into drinking against my will.

> One thing with the beverages is that if you choose to not drink them, you will most likely be the weird one in most social situations.

Why are you so preoccupied with what people think about you?

Just get a glass of water. If they ask, say you don't drink. That will be the end of it. Trust me, you're not the only one. Many people don't drink soda/alcohol/etc.

> go explain that to people every time you are drinking water in a pub

That's like going to a whorehouse and saying you're abstinent. Of course people are going to give you weird looks.

Don't go to establishments that primarily serve alcohol. If you're going out with friends or co-workers, go to a establishment where the primary focus is on food. Then get yourself a glass of water.

Most people hate making decisions, including where to go. So speak up and tell them where to go.

I am not the type that moves around easily in social situations, so I try to remove things that put me on the spot. Said that, I still don't drink alcohol or sugary stuff, it's just annoying to explain why every time

I leave in Munich, Oktober Fest... a small beer here is 0.5L and you have biergartens everywhere. You definitely can push to go to restaurants or cafes, but the reality is just that many times you'll find yourself in an establishment that serves primarily alcohol.

You can go out only to sport, music, outdoor events. But then you'll hardly meet the same number of people and you'll restrict yourself to certain specific group where average is usually above 40.

I have moved to Coke Zero, which tastes just fine (although it somewhat depends on the country where you buy it). I don't think there is much wrong with that, so I don't quite understand why Coca-Cola doesn't promote it more instead of denying that sugar may be a problem.

They promote them to the people who like them, but lots of us just do not like the taste of any diet soda. Coke zero and others are better than traditional diet coke to me, but I've never got beyond the initial bad taste--I'd much rather drink water than them.

I've heard that you eventually get used to them or even prefer them, but I've never gotten to that point.

I don't like diet coke either, but think that Zero is completely different. Make sure you drink it when it's cold. My impression is that it also depends on the type of artificial sweetener used, which depends on local taste and regulation. I think it tastes good in Europe and most parts of Asia.

I drink primarily Zero, I switched to it at the same time I ditched sugar in favour of artificial sweeteners (I tried to drink tea without any sweetening but gave up after few weeks, I just can't stand it). It's wonderful where I live (Poland), and I grew to like it even more than plain Cola. I've also seen numerous attempts to promote Zero over the original flavour; one time they even gave away cans of Zero disguised as ordinary Coke to make a point (you had to remove the can from a cardboard overlay it was in to discover it's Zero). I don't know how successful were those campaigns though.

It's funny because I think Zero (and original) taste absolutely disgusting and make me feel sick within minutes of drinking them. But I do have a severe weakness for diet coke (aspartame). I've mostly eradicated diet coke over the last year and now I just drink water or black coffee. Water wasn't so hard a transition really, but developing a taste for black coffee took a few months of dedication.

I understand that you like it, but I do not.

That's the other extreme. I usually mix normal coke (too much sugar) and diet coke (not enough sugar) to get a more balanced experience.

There used to be Pepsi Edge that was half sugar and half splenda (probably high fructose corn syrup) but it was discontinued for some reason one year after introduction in 2005... there is now Pepsi Next but I think that it is 70% high fructose corn syrup

Even sugar-free sodas are still acidic enough to be extremely bad for your teeth in the long run.

Because they replace sugar with aspartam, and it's at least as bad as sugar (at the very least in the public opinion / medias).

> and it's at least as bad as sugar (at the very least in the public opinion / medias).

Shrugs, public opinion and media's opinion is just that opinion not fact so is (to me..yay my opinion) irrelevant.

Nothing is safe in huge amounts but I'll take aspartame over sugar as the risk of diabetes is known.


I agree with you about the general opinion. However I do believe it is relevant to your first question which was why Coca Cola does not promote on it more, I don't think you want to advertise on doing something people dislike or think it's bad (be it true or not it does not matter at all).

On the other hand I think most people know drinking Cola is not good for your health.

There is no evidence that consuming a small amount of aspartame (less than 30 cans of diet soda a day) is harmful to you.

I stopped drinking alcohol a while ago for several reasons, an increased exercise regimen being one of them (though not the most important one). Now when people "ask" I just say I'm an athlete (which has become more true since then), gets them off my back pretty quick.

Apparently being healthy is frowned upon for anyone who doesn't need it (semi-)professionally.

This is so true. I went to a University in the UK which is well known for sport, so I was friends with a few aspiring pro athletes. They were the only people I recall being given a 'pass' when it came to peer-pressuring people to drink. The UK, on the whole, has a really awful relationship with alcohol, especially among uni students.

I stopped drinking alcohol completely about 5 years ago. I was drinking a lot of pop everyday and couldn't figure out why I couldn't lose weight. I was still playing soccer four times a week and working out at the gym the other day. I had changed my diet pretty drastically and still no major weight loss.

Then I started cutting back on pop so as not to experience caffeine withdrawal. Within a few weeks, I was down to one can a day. After two months, I lost 10 pounds, almost all because I stopped drinking so much pop.

It's pretty amazing how many calories and sugar pop has and how negatively it affects your body.

you can pretend that you are a recovering alcoholic and that you are using your tremendous willpower to stay away from alcohol, even in a bar. People might applaud and respect you for it and leave you alone :p

Just ask for a white dolphin on the rocks (water over ice) :)

It is all about the glass shape, most people will assume you are having vodka soda.

there is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol in small quantities every day - red wine can prevent all sorts of diseases - most of the world drinks a beer or two on a daily basis.

drinking coke and pepsi contains no health or nutritional benefits - you ideally dont drink them ever (drink water or at least the diet version)

The trouble with the no-soda rule is, at a restaurant at lunchtime you're pretty much down to water, tea and lemonade. You can get pretty sick of that. Especially if you don't drink caffeine (because of blood pressure issues) so its water or lemonade.

I've innovated - ask for lemonade cut with soda water. Fizzy lemonade!

What's wrong with seeming like you are a recovering alcoholic? Many people are, and if someone judges you for that, they're not a good person. Many people also don't want the excess calories, and if someone judges you for NOT joining them in drinking alcohol, again, they're not a good person.

Same goes if they think you're a food/diet nazi. Who cares? It's your body. They shouldn't be so judgmental of your life choices, especially something as personal as how you decide to fuel your body and stay alive. And if they are judging you, in my experience, it's usually because they're working through their own issues and would rather it not be pointed out how unhealthy their choices are, and they want you to join them in their maybe-not-so-great decisions.

>One thing with the beverages is that if you choose to not drink them, you will most likely be the weird one in most social situations. Especially if you cut on alcohol.

Totally disagree, nobody cares if you have 2 beers vs 8 beers.

I agree. I went to college with a housemate who didn't drink. You'd be surprised how few people cared/noticed that he did this. I think one of those things where if you're the one not drinking you think you stick out more than you do.

Unsweetened ice tea is a great flavorfull beverage with no calories and caffeine...

I was zero alcohol for years and every single time I said "no thanks, I don't drink", it generated incredulous faces and multiple questions about whether it was a health / religious / whatever thing.

Admittedly, this is "Boozy Britain" though.

It's he 'I don't drink' part that causes this. If you just left it at 'no thanks, I'm good' you wouldn't get the same reaction.

The 'I don't drink' part comes across to insecure people as judgemental or superior, so drop it.

Like when people ask you if you have a lighter. "Sorry, I don't," goes a lot farther than "No, I don't smoke."

They're not asking you for your convictions regarding alcohol / tobacco, they're asking you if want some / have a lighter they can use.

But people don't tend to say "Why don't you have a lighter?" when you say "Sorry, I don't." in the same way that they query why you don't want a drink. I endured this for years; it gets tedious after a while.

That happens to you? Never happens to me. Either case.

At any rate, you can answer why when they ask you why.

No, you'd get "You don't want a drink? Why not?" as I experienced many times. Hence the clarification.

Lots of people care. I regularly go to a sports bar that features beers around the world. The guys in my group love to peruse the beer app that the bar sponsors. I order water and eat only the healthier items on the menu.

Despite their love of beer, I think that my health consciousness weighs on them... makes them feel a little guilty. Consequently, they make little comments about my lack of drinking. Harmless stuff, but my guess is that they're actually expressing disappointment in themselves.

I especially notice that when new people are with the group, the core members feel that they have to point out and explain that I only order water. So there's obviously some tension and discomfort there.

Your parent is saying you don't have to drink as much beer as everyone else to fit in just fine. You can nurse one beer for a couple hours, if you pick one that tastes OK warm.

Or maybe camaraderie? If you only drank Guinness, maybe they'd point that out too?

Even two is pushing it for me these days.

The industry really should adapt. I've been drinking this "Pure Leaf" Peach sweetened tea that has almost half the calories of the Lemon tea, and I don't think has artificial sweeters. It tastes really good, I don't even notice it doesn't have the same amount of calories.

Right around when I got this, "Gold Peak" appeared in the supermarkets and that is so sweet it is sickening.

Companies are pure capitalistic enterprises that respond to market demand right? Right?

But there's a physiological "high" of getting the sugar fix in soda, which makes the brain desire it. It's nowhere near the strength of addiction produced by hard drugs. But it is still significant and I would guess it does impact sales.

Just like apps are designed to be "engaging", ie. trigger the brain patterns where it will desire to return to the app, sodas are very much the same.

Companies are pure capitalistic enterprises that respond to market demand right? Right

You can imagine if meth or other addictive drugs were legal thst they would be in our drinks (which is the exact history of Coke). Modern food engineering is about maximizing consumption, even at the detriment of those consuming.

>Now, that's the logic, and it's a sound logic, go explain that to people every time you are drinking water in a pub and they go: "ehm, uh, you don't drink?". Which, by the way, if not explained properly can seem like you are a recovering alcoholic

I find it amazing that people think asking why you don't drink is acceptable, no one stops drinking for fun.

You can just say you don't like the taste.

I've had that reaction on occasion. More often lately, however, I get a look of shame and the response, "I wish I didn't drink". I suspect people probably do not need a whole lot more prompting than "have you really never regretted getting drunk?" to realize your choice is wise.

You can always say that you're the designated driver, which at some bars will get you, ironically, free soda.

What do you do if you don't like the taste of water? Fruit juice is pretty high in sugar as well.

Personally I've become a big fan of tea. Hot and iced. In my opinion most teas don't require any sugar or require very little to offset a bit of bitterness. 9 times out of 10 I use no sugar at all. And that 1 time I do it's maybe half a teaspoon because the tea in question has a bit of bitterness or because I let it sit for too long.

Tea also has the added benefit that if you make it per glass it forces you to get away from the computer for a few minutes. Plus the aromas and flavors are, in my opinion, more numerous and pleasant than all the sugary drinks out there combined. Tends to be noticeably cheaper too :)

Seconded. If you live in a metropolitan area, you will likely have a Teavana or other chain/mom & pop tea store where you can go in and smell or try all of their varieties.

You'll easily find half a dozen different teas you like ranging from the classic black teas to exotic varieties that taste like supermarket sugar drinks (like strawberry lemonade - one of my favorites at teavana). The latter usually require less a 5g bump of sugar to bring them to the level of retail drinks.

Learn to like it. It's water for pete's sake. Vital for life.

I take GT without G. (Gin-tonic but no gin). Often the bartender laughs at this a bit and gives it for free.


Have you been to many pubs? :-)

We're living in an alcoholic beverage renaissance.

Try a craft beer or have a glass of wine.

A drink a day is good for you anyway.

idk about bars, but here's a tip for house parties: finish a beer bottle, and keep refilling it with water thereafter.

>>go explain that to people every time you are drinking water in a pub

Don't go to pub.

Pub: A public house where beverages, primarily alcoholic, may be bought and consumed.

But then you have a different issue: no friends, because everyone wants to go to the pub. Being the guy who will only hang out with you if you agree to his demands is not, socially speaking, a winning strategy.

That strikes to me as a fair compromise: we'll go to a place I don't like. I won't make a single comment on it, and in fact I'll be cheerful and happy, but in return you won't ask me to do the thing I don't like.

"no friends, because everyone wants to go to the pub"

I went thru that back when I was young (once you have a herd of kids, you won't have time for adult socializing, so that kind of solves itself).

Anyway at least for an introverted young guy, I got way more than enough socializing at the gym (get drunk while lifting hundreds of pound weights, what could possibly go wrong LOL?) and hiking club (open container laws are enforced in our parks, maybe not all countries). I also met people at non-credit night classes while learning some carpentry, Japanese, cooking, religion, philosophy, history, whatever looked cool I'd sign up for ... I would imagine its much easier for young people now with online event organization for meetups and conferences and maker spaces.

I wonder how much people drink at maker spaces. I would imagine drunken table saw and metal working machine operators don't live very long. They seem to produce things and the injury rate seems low, so probably not very much.

Things get complicated if you're in one of those situations where friends work and socialize together. Super awkward, will never go back to that again. "Never cross the streams" - Ghostbusters

There was a time when tolerating second-hand smoke, if not smoking itself, was considered necessary evil for socializing.

There was a time before that, where smoking was only allowed in 'smoking rooms' while wearing a 'smoking jacket', so that ordinary people didn't have to smell like a campfire half their lives.

Not if you have friends that don't go to the pub! It's not unheard of.

You got downvoted for some reason, but you still have a point.

If one doesn't fancy drinking and if situation allows for this (i.e. they have a voice while discussing where to gather, not just invited to pre-agreed place) - at least they should suggest their friends to gather somewhere else. Some place that's not about drinking.

That is, if the place is still a subject of discussion, "Aw, guys, you know I'm not fond of drinking - how about some other place? I know a good cafe nearby..." is certainly not awkward.

And, well, sometimes it's not a bad option to decline sometimes, too. Depends on a particular company.

It should be notied the Dr. Blair is one of the most cited exercise science researchers of all time. He's not simply a shrew for Coca Cola, he has produces some of the most monumental papers in the field. If you look at his career timeline, his research matched with what Coca Cola wanted to promote (before they started working together), not the opposite.

He is also extremely passionate about helping reduce obesity in South Carolina especially. One of the nicest and most honest people I've ever met.

*disclaimer, I've worked with him on startups combining exercise science and mobile apps.

It's articles like this that deplete what little faith I have remaining in "science." The science that is released to the public has been subverted and corrupted by so many orders of magnitude that I'm not even sure why they bother calling it science any more. The lack of objectivity and conflict of interest in the studies/results is astounding. When politics is funding biased studies in the name of furthering corporate profits and then releasing it as "actual science", it's more than disheartening, it's downright sickening.

It's funny how many scientific atheists sneer at the religious for their beliefs when there's so much corruption in their own ranks... and that's coming from someone who'd rather believe in science than any form of organized religion...

You might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Science, as a method, works. Science, as a field, has areas where it doesn't work very well. Diet, in particular, is probably one of the worst. The good thing with Science, the method, is that it is predicated on improvement by iteration. Dietology itself is getting a bit better (though there's a lot more to do), so unfortunately, until we find a better method, we have to work on human time. No need to discard every reasonable scientist's work just because of some (many?) bad apples. They are nowhere near the majority.

> that deplete what little faith I have remaining in "science."

I'm not keen on using the word science like it's some sort of faith that you choose to passively agree or passively disagree with. You shouldn't have faith in science or institutions based on science, because that is antithetical to the whole premise of science.

Science is a methodology and framework for investigating the world around you. There are broadly accepted scientific bodies of work, but they're supposed to be continually tested and verified and challenged. You're not supposed to accept studies or peer reviewed papers at face value. You're not even supposed to accept the current body of knowledge as fact. Even the most tested laws are just theories where the error bars are very small. Don't get me wrong, laws should be respected, but until the margin of error becomes 0, it can be challenged. We award the Nobel Prize to people who have convincingly challenged the current body of science. Einstein isn't revered because he sealed Newton's laws as immutable truths. We revere him because he added dimension and new ideas that we could test and explore.

Companies and institutions have been undermining science with self-serving research, press releases and books since the beginning. People will always execute scientific research poorly and others will always do despicable things to undermine it. Fortunately, scientific thinking comes with some error correction mechanisms. They're not perfect and sometimes it takes longer than we'd like, but typically our body of knowledge gets better over time. Nutrition in particular is a very difficult subject to study, so it's especially ripe for junk science. I suspect as our tools for research get better, our knowledge of nutrition will get better.

Science doesn't work when people accept a scientific body with faith. Faith has no place in science, because faith teaches people to accept ideas without challenging them. We want each generation of scientists to question every link in the chain of arguments, so they can add testable theories and new dimension to today's "infallible" theories.

If you want to reinvigorate your "faith in science", start by changing your expectations about science. The scientific method is a great tool, but it doesn't solve the problems of corruption and incompetence. Practicing science is messy and error fraught, propagating accurate scientific knowledge can be incredibly slow. It's always been this way, but if we persist, sometimes we get really lucky and we're inundated with new knowledge and insights, better tools, and lots of testable ideas.

Agreed. However, I would argue that this is older than science itself. Before it was governments and religions who claimed to know better than science. Its about control, and hijacking science is a way to get "credibility". But I've got hope that real science will always win out eventually. It just takes time.

Failing that, we can always study the hijacking: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnotology - a field with a future!

I was required to read Merchants of Doubt for my biology class in college. Pretty good read on this topic.

On the plus side, this abuse of science is being reported in a major newspaper - which is the way most of the public would consume such a scientific study anyway.

Just watched 'Fed Up' this week. It is your typical one sided documentary however it does shed a lot of light into this topic.


Also, I'd recommend going here and looking at the FDA's proposal on labeling %DV for added sugars: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocuments...

Their message is shamelessly misleading, but there is something to it: most people will find it requires far less willpower to put down the fork than to put on some running shorts and go out for a jog.

Drink less soft drink and need less exercise = less money for beverage and exercise industries.

Keep drinking soft drink, exercise more = more money for both industries.

I don't think they care about difference in willpower, only money. They will say almost anything to get it from you.

The primary metabolic disorder in society right now is driven by an excess of sugars in our diet, particularly fructose. Fruit juices and processed foods are swimming in fructose.

> For one thing, Wilkin believes he has discovered another form of "compensation", similar to Timothy Church's discovery that we reward ourselves with food when we exercise. Looking at the question of whether it was possible to change a child's physical activity, Wilkin's team put accelerometers on children at schools with very different PE schedules: one which offered 1.7 hours a week, and another that offered nine hours.

> "The children did 64% more PE at the second school. But when they got home they did the reverse. Those who had had the activity during the day flopped and those who hadn't perked up, and if you added the in-school and out-of-school together you got the same. From which we concluded that physical activity is controlled by the brain, not by the environment – if you're given a big opportunity to exercise at one time of day you'll compensate at another."


I recently watched http://thatsugarfilm.com/ which looks into why sugar is so bad. Sugar consists of Glucose and Fructose. Your body knows what to do with glucose, releases insulin preventing fat from being burnt and enables your cells to use glucose. Fructose is converted into fat by your liver but cannot be used until the insulin subsides. Fructose really is "bad". Sweetners do not help either as they keep your body addicted to sugar. It also looked at the impact sugar had on brain function. Note that in the film he kept to similar calorie intake, just swapped out his good fat sources with low fat "healthy" choices. He gained 8kg primarily around the waste within 40 days.

Combine that with the meta study that showed exercise was not something to take up as part of a weight reduction regime http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/... and you can begin to understand how important it is that Coca Cola need to push this message.

The reality is, added sugar products need taxation which is then ring-fenced to support healthy eating education and healthy transport schemes (Walking, cycling and public transport). We need to recognise that added sugar, in particular fructose, has to be treated on the same level as smoking is.

Read more about the "science" in the Sugar movie and you may not be so quick to cite it:


> Your body knows what to do with glucose, releases insulin preventing fat from being burnt and enables your cells to use glucose. Fructose is converted into fat by your liver but cannot be used until the insulin subsides. Fructose really is "bad". Sweetners do not help either as they keep your body addicted to sugar. It also looked at the impact sugar had on brain function. Note that in the film he kept to similar calorie intake, just swapped out his good fat sources with low fat "healthy" choices. He gained 8kg primarily around the waste within 40 days.

Ok but the insulin does subside and you do use the fat created from fructose provided you aren't eating a caloric surplus. There may be minor differences but calling any macro or micronutrient category "bad" is missing the forest for the trees. There is quite simply no way he gained nearly 20 lbs in a little over a month without significant increasing his calorie intake or decreasing his calorie output.

> The reality is, added sugar products need taxation which is then ring-fenced to support healthy eating education and healthy transport schemes (Walking, cycling and public transport). We need to recognise that added sugar, in particular fructose, has to be treated on the same level as smoking is.

The reality is that sugar is completely healthy for many people, and that the idea that sugar is "poison" is completely incorrect. It's dose dependent, like any other food. If you are sitting around all day doing nothing and you eat a lot of sugar you will gain unhealthy body mass, but for many atheletes, for instance, sugars are an extremely important part of performance quality. Protein or fat when eaten in excess will also make you fat. What separates sugar from cigarettes is that there are doses at which sugar is completely fine (even good) for you, and there is no dose at which a cigarette is good for you.

Isn't the problem that once the insulin subsides you're hungry again? Sugar (and other high-GI foods) are very quickly processed and stored as fat, and the reserves in the blood are depleted soon afterwards.

The amount you eat isn't a function of how many calories are in the food, but how hungry you feel (assuming that the willpower you can put into fighting against your hunger is constant). Therefore the best foods to eat would be the ones with the largest "satiety load" per calorie, and I'm pretty sure high GI is inversely correlated with that

Yep, I think that's a totally fair analysis, but it still is one that involves poor health outcomes resulting from consuming more calories than you need, not directly because you consumed a specific macro or micronutrient.

> Combine that with the meta study that showed exercise was not something to take up as part of a weight reduction regime http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/.... and you can begin to understand how important it is that Coca Cola need to push this message.

One, it is not a "meta study"; it is an editorial[1]. One which provoked an almost immediate contrary response from other doctors, both mentioned in the very article you posted and in the BJSM[2].

Two, Malhotra's editorial does not say "exercise was not something to take up as part of a weight reduction regime". It said exercise doesn't contribute to weight loss. It specifically said exercise reduces the risk of numerous conditions that are frequently comorbid with obesity.

[1] http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2015/05/07/bjsports-2015-0...

[2] http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2015/06/10/bjsports-2015-0...

Sweeteners keep your body addicted to the taste of sugar, but if all you eat is sweeteners, then you won't actually consume more sugar.

True but you are telling your body to keep producing insulin. There is some indication that certain sweeteners increase your risk of diabetes http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/09September/Pages/Do-artificial-...

I'm on a low sugar (not low carb) and no sweetener lifestyle as I find sugar makes me crash and feel very sleepy.

Source on the insulin claim? Your link deals with saccharin, but diet soda uses aspartame and ace k.

To be fair, obesity is caused by a multitude of factors. For example, one often overlooked factor is the speed of eating. Your body only notices that you had enough with a certain delay. The faster you eat, the more you get in before feeling full. So regardless of food quality, fast food poses an elevated obesity risk.

Careful with this being fair, though. It feels like the same rhetoric as acknowledging that other factors contribute to climate change.

This suggests that our primary focus should be on portion size, right?

Yes binging and eating too fast is a real issue. You should never eat watching tv or browsing the internet. Always eat mindfully, chewing properly and thoroughly, and you can lose that habit.

Here's the video that started a lot of the public awareness of the issue:


And there's also now a great documentary on Netflix called "Fed Up" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCUbvOwwfWM), for anyone who has a subscription. It particularly tackles this silly idea that it's okay to eat and drink shitty food all day, so long as you exercise for a little bit too.

I don't get the whole anti-"processed food" thing. The whole change in weight in the U.S. can be explained by increased caloric intake since the 1970's. It's not like we didn't have Coke back then.

I think the real problem is capitalism. It makes good economic sense to sell your customers too much food. Consider Starbucks. Your parents' coffee and a donut was a 250-300 calorie breakfast. Today's latte and a scone is double that and yields a much nicer profit margin.

I think the problem with processed food is that it allows combinations of nutrients which don't occur in nature, which our bodies are not well adapted to.

It's not so much processed foods - obviously you can have processed foods which are healthy too. But if people with very unhealthy diets cut out the kinds of processed foods they eat it would probably go a long way towards making them healthier.

And you're right that capitalism is the root cause - the incentives are skewed towards making foods more addictive and moreish, to help with sales, which leads to making them worse for us. Big food companies even have labs to help them optimise this: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary...

One problem with a lot of processed foods is the removal of soluble fiber which if present slows down the digestion of carbohydrates (glucose). Another problem is many processed foods contain added free glucose and fructose.

The result of eating these foods are very high glucose levels in the blood + insulin levels which interferes with metabolic signaling. Insulin tells your body to store glucose as fat. Insulin inhibits leptin receptor signalling which means your brain loses the ability to sense how much fat your body is carrying around.

Fructose in large amounts is hepatotoxic, just like alcohol. In fact for the same metabolic reason as alcohol.

"processed food" has a very specific meaning. Basically, anything that comes in a factory sealed bag or wrapper. So, not a burrito from Chipotle, but a cliff bar or a twinkie or anything that has a long and confusing ingredients list.

"Food science" has advanced to the point where companies explicitly try to hack tastebuds and desire receptors (dorritos optimizing for salty+sweet to induce more hunger while you eat) thereby increasing desire for their product and, they hope, reducing self-action of restraint towards their product.

I think its the size of food.

The old time coke bottles where 8 fl oz (.23 liters). Then cans at 12 oz. Now the single serve bottles are typically 20 oz (.6 liter)

I was in NYC which labels calories in restaurants. Was a little bit of an eye opener. oversize bagels and muffins making breakfast approach half your daily caloric intake.

I am far from knowledgeable regarding diet and nutrition but I recently switched from drinking a good amount of fruit juice and an occasional soda to drinking 100% water. I wasn't really even overweight but I shed 10 lbs within a month and I feel in much better health. I don't think it's just sodas - pretty much any drink with a lot of calories and sugar seem like a waste. Now when I see those giant sized sodas in restaurants I can't believe I used to drink them.

Are the studies still producing valid, peer-reviewed results?

I'm of three minds about this.

OT1H, it shouldn't matter who writes something if it holds up to scrutiny.

OTOH, no system, no matter the safeguards, can withstand constant attempts to subvert it by ordinary members. The scientific process can stop sporadic fraud, but not deliberate fraud by the majority of participants.

OT3rdH, it's also playing with fire to tell an organization it can't defend itself, even against a scientific consensus, by bankrolling research that tends to favor itself. I for one wish we would have had more of that from Big Fat to resist the "less fat, more carbs" dogma we heard for decades.

There are two possible things happening in the article and neither are explored (yay NYT!).

Case A: the school already had this research happening. Coke saw the research could help their arguments and decided to pay them to do more of their already existing projects.

Case B: Coke started from a marketing perspective, interviewed scientists at different universities, then commissioned the studies and created the departments themselves using the "shadow funding."

That depends who you ask... they've probably been peer reviewed by other biased peers who are on Coca-Cola's payroll... or at least peers who favour these big food companies. So technically, yes, they're peer reviewed. Does it make them any more valid? Draw your own conclusions.

That's not how peer-review works in science journals. If Coke publishes the data on their website, they don't need any additional hoops. If it gets published in a scientific journal, the article is sent in to the editor. Then the editor makes a decision if it's even the kind of thing they'd want in their journal and either sends it back or sends it to their choice of scientists in the field. Those scientists (usually 4) offer revision suggestions and their feedback. It's then up to the editor to reject the article, print it, or require modifications before printing it.

If Coke funds 1000 studies in to the effect of exercise, and they all demonstrate "not exercising enough" is a contributing factor to obesity then the media will be full of stories about how no exercise makes you fat, and Coke will have successfully made it look like their products aren't to blame. The 1000 studies could all valid science but there's still a problem because it's skewing the amount of evidence away from diet and towards exercise, when the reality is that both are important.

>it's skewing the amount of evidence away from diet and towards exercise, when the reality is that both are important.

I very much doubt that a series of studies, if valid, and even if funded by Coke, is "skewing" the amount of evidence.

It's common knowledge that fitness is dependent on diet and exercise. I don't see much wrong with a corporate entity producing legitimate science that happens to support their product (if that's the case here), especially in a maternalistic society like the US, that wants to "ban" things like soft drinks for "the good" of the populace.

> If Coke funds 1000 studies ... media will be full of stories

That is a problem with the (non-scientific) media and not the scientific process or press.

This post reminds me of the mouse experiment showing mice preferred the reward of refined sugar over cocaine, even when the mice were already addicted to cocaine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1931610/

Perhaps their should very basic study on general health/weight of people who regularly consume refined sugars and those who abstain from refined sugar (with neither group engaging in structured exercise. Or have these scientists answer a more basic question about obesity...all things being equal, if you took a person (whether they exercise or not) would that person be more likely to be obese if they consumed a 200 calorie soda every day or replaced the soda with 200 calories of almonds. I think people would be greatly surprised to find out a calorie is not simply a calorie as is often suggested and that sugar has a lot more impact on obesity than fats.

> I think people would be greatly surprised to find out a calorie is not simply a calorie as is often suggested and that sugar has a lot more impact on obesity than fats.

I would be throughly shocked considering everything I have read is to the contrary. The much more likely issue is the soda drinker would feel compelled to eat/drink something sugary after a short period where as the person eating almonds would be satisfied. Interestingly you touch on this with your rat experiment and then somehow come to the conclusion "calorie is not a calorie".

In the end a calorie is a calorie in terms of the potential to expand your waistline, but a calorie is not a calorie in terms of putting the fork down and feeling satisfied. Maybe I misunderstood and that was your point.



There was an article here that 50% of food science is not valid research. Further companies in the food industry pay researchers to do research which by chance often returns positive studies in favor for those who paid for it.

"No connection with Fructose and obesity" Sponsored by the Canadian sugarinstitute who is owned by: Coca Cola and Pepsi co and corn producers.

It is little bit weird that we are hearing this from scientists but apart from that there is nothing wrong with what it says I think.

Just because some people can not resist and drink responsibly, why should the company take the blame?

Having too much of almost everything is bad for you, am i missing something here?

Companies that produce junk foods tell us the dietary information we need to ensure we consume responsibly is printed on the packet or bottle.

They don't explain how their products and accompanying advertising are designed to subvert our logical minds by appealing to our biological desires.

Their techniques have been honed over time and have become rather powerful. Over-consuming may not be a problem for you but not everyone is so resilient.

Just because some people can not resist and drink responsibly, why should the company take the profit?

Is there much high quality, original research left to be done around "sugary diets cause obesity?"

It's not my field, but I suspect that the only original research left to be done examines other potential causes. There's lots of good work on the Microbiome, for example.

Can someone from the field tell me, if they had a big fund to counter-balance the bias caused by Coca-Cola, what original research it would fund?

Sugary diets do not cause obesity any more than starchy diets do. A lot of obese people only consume diet drinks yet they still gain weight from the chips, the bread, the beer, etc.

Free soda refills in restaurants may make sense economically but it makes no sense from a diet point of view

Same thing with most crap people eat every day.

I'm not against processed foods per se, the increase in food safety and storage time makes sense.

Now, people make meal-sized (calory-wise) snacks by stuffing a bag of Doritos in between meals, eating a whole pack of Oreos, or just eating unbalanced (usually both micro and macronutrient unbalanced) meals etc

Here is an alternative view to these corporate 'studies': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM Or simply watch pictures taken in the 1920-60's, it's pretty shocking how most north americans were much much leaner.

Having visited Europe recently another thing I noticed is that the car wasn't nearly as ubiquitous there. I don't think people there specifically ate less, they are just less sedentary.

I've also noted folks who spend significant time on both in big cities with public transport, and also significant time in car-centric cities, their weight fluctuates appropriately (about 15% less weight when decent public transport is available).

Definitely true, in large part I believe this is heritage (older cities not necessarily built for massive numbers of cars) but also towns and cities just being smaller or "tighter" in general if that makes sense.

I live on the south coast of the UK and I take the bus to work and then walk home in the evening, takes about an hour. It's pretty pleasant and a good way to both process the day and move around a little. I feel far better when I walk home than when I used to take the bus.

It's actually one thing I'm slightly bugged by as I'm getting ready to move to the bay area for a year. I don't want to buy or lease a car. I haven't actually wanted or needed a car since getting my licence.

This is reminiscent of the tactics tobacco companies used to keep selling cigarettes after research and experience started to suggest their products caused cancer.

The blame for obesity lies squarely on the enlarged shoulders of the obese.

It certainly isn't Coca-Cola's fault.

The level of blame-shifting in our society is amazing.

These are not scientists at all.These are coke lobbyists who sell their souls for coke's money. Shame on them.

This is a duplicate.

One 20oz (vending machine size) bottle of Coke per day is 52 lbs of sugar (well, actually high fructose corn syrup) per year. Next time you go shopping, count 10 5-lb bags of sugar. Each and every year.

The NYC Dept of Health estimates that 30% of adult New Yorkers have one sugar-added beverage per day. 20 years ago there were 10oz bottle in vending machines, then 12oz cans, now also 20oz bottles, thus, those consuming a bottle a day today now consume 52 lbs of sugar per year compared with 26 lbs 20 or so years ago.

Many of the poor (and others) have no idea how many sugar calories they are consuming each year when they drink Coke and other sugar-added beverages.

Besides tobacco use, obesity and lack of exercise is one of the major contributors to our increased health care costs.

The previous NY Mayor, Bloomberg, tried to have a state tax on sugar-added beverages passed which is what is recommended by public health officials such as the CDC but that was turned down. Then he lobbied the Federal Government to not allow food stamps to be used for sugar-added beverages but that was turned down. Then the health dept. tried to ensure that in venues where they had control that sugar-added beverages would have a 16oz size limit, but they lost in court.

Ironically, the land for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which is located in Atlanta, Georgia was donated by none other than The Coca Cola Company.

> 20 years ago there were 10oz bottle in vending machines, then 12oz cans, now also 20oz bottles, thus, those consuming a bottle a day today now consume 52 lbs of sugar per year compared with 26 lbs 20 or so years ago.

Portion sizes for everything are so incredibly out of whack; it's ridiculous. If you convince people people that a 3 gallon smoothie is "regular" size, you move more product and make more money - who cares if everyone gets fat as a side effect.

About one month ago, I dropped Mountain Dew (and all pop/soda) cold-turkey. The only time I DO have pop, is when I have a mixed drink, and that's 7up/Sprite, about 3 cans per week. I used to drink 2 20oz Mountain Dews per day, for 20 years. Yes, I'm obese. I hope I start to see the effects soon of the drastically reduced sugar/fructose intake. After 1 month, I haven't noticed anything yet. (My wife's a health nut, and makes me eat pretty well also)

That's great news! However, if you just took those calories and displaced them elsewhere in your diet, you likely won't notice anything (unless the calories are protein-based instead).

Best thing to do is start using an app like LoseIt or MyFitnessPal like a total maniac and start observing your exact dietary intake. Use a food scale!!!

You'll start to notice where you're going wrong each day, and can spot trends after a few months. It's worth the hassle.

At the end of the day, calories are still most linked to your weight, which is your first and foremost problem. Your body composition can then be further aided by a proper macronutrient ratio (ie more protein), and of course general health with proper fruit and vegetable intake.

That's the trifecta of dieting:

* Caloric monitoring / maintenance / sub-maintenance

* High Protein

* High Veggie and Fruit

After that, let the carbs and fats fall where they may, whatever works best for you. Just note that it's easiest to do one or the other (low-fat or low-carb), but not impossible to be balanced if you're tracking well.

While it can certainly make a big difference dropping soda alone probably won't have the kind of results you're hoping for. I think when I quit drinking soda with every meal I lost something like two inches off my waistline -- significant but not really the difference between obese and normal weight either.

Just losing 2 inches would be a huge confidence booster for me. I'm 6'3", 285 pounds, and between a 40-42 inch waist. If I could get below 40's again, I'd feel so much better.

There is this japanese approach called kaizen, meaning one step at a time. You already made the first and hardest one - decide for a change.

removing sodas (and other corn syrup stuff) is amazing step, what about a bit more movement? try walk, start with shorter, make them longer over time. find something to enjoy on these changes, that helps motivation a lot.

be persistent, don't make petty excuses why to skip it, and give it all a bit of time. learn to enjoy sweat - it means you're doing something good for yourself ;)

Be sure that you are not substituting the loss of calories with different sources, like slightly increased food portions, more often snacks, picking food from fridge. Your body got used to extra calories it was getting so it might influence you to substitute that.

I found a link for you, very interesting conversation: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8104365

It's possible you are simply taking sugars from foods perceived as "healthy".

Check "That Sugar Film": http://thatsugarfilm.com/

Right. I am no fan of Coca Cola sugar water, but it's probably true that your weight gain is determined by the totality of how much you eat, not necessarily drinking coca cola per se. So, taxing soft drinks extra rather than, say, all of junk food extra, seems somewhat arbitrary.

Honestly, I feel that adding cost (i.e. tax) really wouldn't discourage the drinking of soft drinks to much extent. Often the "cost" of soft drinks aren't even on the menu, and can often run upwards of $3+, and it doesn't seem to discourage things.

One area that could "help" (though at the same time I don't think that governments should regulate this), is for instance in the fast food meal concept of the "combo." I drink almost 100% water, and don't like soft drinks. When I occasionally eat fast food, I experience the following: (a) it is often difficult to navigate the menu, since it emphasizes the combos, and sometimes the price of individual items are not clearly labelled, and (b) I spend more time in line explaining what I want, sometimes having to insist several times that I do not want the combo meal. And to clarify, almost every time I've done the math, it works out advantageously from a price perspective for me to avoid the combo instead of just purchasing the combo and requesting water as the beverage. But given this experience, I can see how if you weren't dedicated to drinking water you would concede, and once you've paid for a drink, you "might as well" get a soft drink.

I'm also quite surprised at how frequently I run into situations at airports, food courts, sports venues, etc. where you either (a) the only form of water is bottled water and costs as much or more than soft drinks, (b) you can purchase a cup of water, but it costs you as much as a soft drink, or (c) in the most extreme cases water is not even available for consumption even if one wanted to pay. I recently experienced the latter. So perhaps if we were going to regulate something, perhaps it should be ensuring that all food establishments provide water as a beverage, and furthermore if we want to encourage consumption of water perhaps there should be some form of price cap, for instance that it can't be priced more than X% of cost to provide the "service." Though I typically think that regulation should be kept minimal, this may be something that could be good for the public.

The problem with taxing "all junk food" is that the devil is in the definitions. We can probably all agree on the obvious examples like soda and potato chips, but about the Chinese hot bar at Wegmans? It's certainly worse for my body than the sushi next door, but whether you would call that junk food or not is more a reflection of your values. At least sugary soda is demonstrably problematic, as the human body doesn't sate its appetite from refined sugars as the caloric equivalents of proteins or fats would.

right. That's exactly why we shouldn't worry about taxing individual foods. Just tax the food industry as a whole extra, leaving out staples needed to cook at home. Tax the concept of "food as entertainment", so to speak, and make it revenue neutral, so that this is not about overall size of government

"Dr. Blair, a professor at the University of South Carolina whose research over the past 25 years has formed much of the basis of federal guidelines on physical activity, and Gregory A. Hand, dean of the West Virginia University School of Public Health."

Is this a new thing in the big university scam? Trade a substantive (yet probably middling in actuality) "brand", propped up by big-time sports as a legitimate academic institution (although primarily being a degree stamper and alcoholic post-highschool baby sitter), take money, produce study?

I've heard of specious sponsored research before, but not in "major" institutions like these.

other possible reasons for obesity:

- increased car ownership

- lower cost of food, allowing binging (people could not afford meat all week)

- shifting nature of work. most jobs now are done in a sitting position of some sort, hard manual labor is getting rare.

now add medicine that allows you to sustain the obese lifestyle, from statins to insulin, and you can let your body go without much consequence (for a while).

and hell, forget the soft drinks. go to any cheap place in the US and everything is sugar-glaced. Try ordering something healthy from Panda Express, etc. And even traditional stuff like Ribs - put on that sweet BBQ sauce.

combine ALL the above and you might have an explanation of rising obesity. pretty sure it is not a simple equation, it never is.

Well fructose was a rarely part of the human diet and is converted to fat by your liver. Sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. When your body get's a hit of glucose it releases insulin that tells your body not to burn fat but use up the glucose. So that fructose gets stored away. Ironically healthy fruit smoothies are exceptionally bad :D

Yes a country's transport policy has an impact. Netherlands has an obesity rate of 1.6% in boys vs 16% in the UK. So getting your kids cycling/walking to school is of massive benefit to the long-term health of your nation.

You still need to deal with the wrong type of calories being delivered into your population.


They are way better than any soft drink. Even if you pick the fruit with the most fructose/glucose percentage you still get the benefit of slower digestion due to fibers which slow digestion. Slight exaggeration, but in comparison, drinks are almost an injection of sugar into the blood-stream.

I would consider them healthy if they are ingested in appropriate quantities, without any added sugars, and along with some additional food that is rich with protein and fibers, like wheat and grains.

> Well fructose was a rarely part of the human diet

What is your definition of "rarely"?

>Well fructose was a rarely part of the human diet

What an absolutely ridiculous statement.

Europe has essentially the same economic changes, although with subtle and probably significant differences (Plus the British and Germans are porking out to an alarming degree)


I know it's not a representative sample or anything, but in supersize vs. superskinny if there's somebody drinking a lot of sugary drinks, it's always the superskinny one, never the supersize one. The supersizers always eat a lot of salt, protein and fat.

Similarly, see "Merchants of Doubt" by Oreskes and Conway. A small number of scientists (whose scientific field is sometimes barely or even not-at-all related) routinely get hired by front companies for various business interests to deny the hazards of smoking, climate change and so on.

Some of the ones who fought the "smoking isn't bad" action went on, after that was finally buried, to work for the "climate change isn't happening" front.

Tends to work in the exact same way as this is. Create a reasonable sounding front outfit ("Global Energy Balance Network" in this case), and throw money at the small handful of scientists you can find who will oppose the consensus. Use your money and media contacts to get their views far more publicity than they deserve, creating the illusion of a large body of dissenting scientists. Take advantage of current media belief that "balance" means you have to provide airtime to some crazy kook to oppose any view, and hold off the inevitable for as long as possible.

And as follow-up to my unpopular comment above, here's someone else coming out and declaring it basically nonsense with distorted science. No surprise there.


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