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!
I found out about LCHF and sugar when I was diagnosed with a NAFLD and pre-diabetic. Scared me skinny. Thats a joke. It did scare me. I did not want to die early or have amputations or blindness, heart disease, or cancer. I started to look online for anything about obesity and came across articles first by Dr. Hyman. Ordered his book but I must be very insulin resistant because I lost only 5 pounds and the rest of the 50 pounds would not budge. Every name he mentioned in his book, I researched and then went on YouTube and found a wealthy of information especially all the video’s of the “Metabolic Conference 2016”. I ordered the book “The Art and Science of Low Carb Living” and lost 50 more pounds. I lost my CPAP machine, my Asthmas, my Dupytrens Contractures, the nasal stuffiness, and my favourite, my life long depression. I eat clean. No junk, no processed foods, and I eat low carb vegetables. I especially am grateful that the “Hungry Monster” is gone. Tried to eat the SAD diet all my life but was always hungry, and now I know why. Love my new lifestyle. Get lots of push back from everyone around me, but I have read the science. I will not be bullied.
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Congratulations Monica! I wish other people would read what you just wrote: “I did not want to die early or have amputations or blindness, heart disease, or cancer.” Unfortunately so many people just simply don’t put two and two together and don’t understand that the bite of cake they are enjoying today (a short happiness) may cost their foot for amputation 10 years from now. In economics this is referred to as being “shortsighted” toward the future. I am glad you found your way as did I. We are the lucky ones. I am pretty much done with trying to convince the naysayers–it is best if they find it out on their own — hopefully not too late.
I am very happy for you and share your joy of a healthy and happy life! It remains to only be shared by those who understand and their loved ones who may also understand (not all do unfortunately).
I wish you well on your continued success!
I often find comment sections more interesting than the articles that precede them, no matter the subject. Though, of course, the world is full of people who don’t know much about the subject in question, or have bought into the dominant paradigm, there are also usually a number of thoughtful comments and I often learn something new. It’s hard not to stress out about the dumb comments; I try to remember to breathe deeply and remind myself that stress is bad.
It’s going to have to be a process of education from the grassroots up, since too many of the “experts” are influenced by nonscientific motivations. The more of us that make a lifestyle change with positive results, and lead by example, the more the change will gradually spread.
There also will be a certain amount of attrition as the old fogies clinging to their hidebound ways eventually die off (to paraphrase Max Planck, “Science advances one funeral at a time”; nutrition science is not the only one that resists new ideas.)
I first ran across Good Calories, Bad Calories about six years ago and it changed my life. It’s been encouraging to see the gradual increase in the popular and scientific press that diet is more important than has been traditionally acknowledged. Try to stay positive and keep fighting the good fight.
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Agree Colleen. My stepping back and deep breath was this blog. It cleared all issues out of my mind. 🙂 I ran into the same book and also Nina Teicholz’s “The Big Fat Surprise” which I read first and found it amazing (and humorous). I read Taubes’ book after, which was a more serious and complex book–said more in terms of the history and corruption but Teicholz’s book was funnier to read. My personal life changing moment was the Lustig video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” many years ago. I also then read Yudkin’s book that Lustig re-published.
After these books I fell into research and as I hit prediabetic mode (not obese or otherwise compromised so that was a surprise) and I found totally by coincidence a huge pot of information to sort through on low carbs high fat, ketogenic, low fat, etc., diets. Since I was not in it for losing weight only to prevent diabetes, I read through everything before I got to the two books mentioned above. By the time I read Teicholz and Taubes I was already on the ketogenic diet for several months. This was the best choice of my life but I am creating “my” ketogenic diet since I disagree with many forms that are published or pushed since they are for weight loss only and ignore health consequences from fake ketones from coconut oil and other fat bombs-type fake enhancers.
I am very positive. I know that things will change–maybe not in my lifetime but for me things already have changed. I reversed my prediabetes and I reversed about a dozen other conditions I did not think was possible and some I did not even know I had! I even reversed arthritis that I could feel and see I have but when I reversed it I did not notice since if there is no pain you don’t notice. Then one day someone said they had arthritis and showed me their hands. I put up mine to show I have it too when I noticed that wow, I no longer have any!
I may live long enough to look into the eyes of those now swearing that sugar has nothing to do with it as they are prepped for surgical amputation of their limbs from type 2 diabetes. I am not a mean or revengeful of a person but I cannot understand and support the blatant lies of the industry and the ignorance of the people.
“If we can prevent it, why not? Duh… It was possible but we laughed then, and now it is too late”