Sugar Is Killing Us
Gary Taubes wrote a short article in the Wall Street Journal with the title “Is Sugar Killing Us?” on 12/9/2016. The article is super. It is a small expose of the many misleading events that led us to obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes in huge numbers that was unprecedented before. The direction from eating sugar to these diseases is very straight-forward. I will not waste my or your time describing it since I have in the past many times–look back at my previous blog posts on this blog or here or here.
Rather I wish to talk about the comments that follow the article. I was floored when I started reading them. At the time I am writing this blog, there were 80 comments posted after the article. I copy-paste a few here for examples–names appear as they appeared in the comments with links to the person–it is a public site:
So in other words, there is no empirical evidence it’s bad.
This article was a waste of time.
If sugar is “killing us” as the author claims, why is it that while sugar consumption as been rising for the past 100 years, the average life span of males has risen in 1900 from 48 years to 76 years in 2011. Is it the caffeine in Coke? The chocolate in chocolate chips? The vanilla in frosting on cup cakes and in little Debbies?
Two observations. A rise in diabetes and obesity that coincides with an increased consumption of sugar is not the same as a demonstration of cause and effect. The rise of diabetes also coincides with the watching of more NFL football games, but the NFL is probably not to blame. Second, the key to good health is exercise. Lots of exercise, regularly over an entire lifetime. When so many jobs are sedentary office jobs instead of active factory jobs, and walking is the rare choice over an automobile ride — well, you decide. Personally, I probably eat more sugar than Mr. Taubes would recommend, but have no problem with obesity or diabetes because I spend a lot of time in the gym, on the tennis court and other places where exercise is required.
Oh my gosh!!! These were just 3 comments plucked from the many posted in the past few hours. I just about fainted!
Why Don’t They Get It?
I really shouldn’t care at all about what these comments say. After all, I don’t know Gary Taubes, though I read all his books and most of his articles. However, I do know the history of the tragedy that touches over 50% of the US population, which you can call Syndrome X or obesity or whatever you wish. The most commonly known term is obesity, which in the US today represents over 40% of the population–there is variability between ethnic groups. According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2012, 9.3% of the US population had active type 2 diabetes (these include only those people who knew they had that). Type 2 diabetes used to be reserved for the aging but now it is prevalent in all ages, including children. Now even 3-year olds can end up with type 2 diabetes. I could not find statistics for later years in the quick but I would not be shocked to see an over 25% figure for 2016.
So now, if you follow all the links I put above (they open on a new page), please help me find an answer to this question:
What’s wrong with those people who commented on Taubes’ article on the damaging effects of sugar like that?
The evidence is there. Whether Taubes had enough space in the WSJ to put any citations (or if it is even appropriate to do so) could be a question but not held against the author. After all, how many of those commentators have actually published a newspaper or a journal article? Do they know the rules? Since I have, I know the rules. It is not always possible to place a single citation or reference into a publication! So hush people!
I was fuming but I have a place to vent: this is it. Thanks for reading my misery.
Because if I ever sign in to the WSJ and start responding to those comments, a war will ensue. While I prefer to think of people as ignorant or just want to avoid facts; I can see I am being misguided by my trust in people.
Some people are just either mean or stupid or both! I just had to say that! Pardon my rudeness!
Your comments are welcome as always–and be warned that ugly comments will not see the light of day! So don’t even try!