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Thread: Focus on sugar to prevent obesity a 'recipe for disaster

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Focus on sugar to prevent obesity a 'recipe for disaster

    At last a little common sense has been added to the anti sugar hysteria.

    "Brand-Miller says that it's true that our intake of "discretionary" foods is too high (accounting for about one third of our daily energy intake ), whether it's coming from sweet foods like cakes or chocolates or "not sweet" foods pizza and other fast food."

    Focus on sugar to prevent obesity a 'recipe for disaster', expert says

    I've always maintained that it's not just consumption of sugar at normal rates that's the problem, it's excess consumption (as with most things) that causes us to balloon.

    I've no doubt the anti C12H22O11 brigade won't be dissuaded in the least.

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    I agree, consumption of sugar at normal rates is not a problem if it's not on top of meals that already fulfill your daily energy requirements.

    There are a few issues that I can see with sugar though: refined sugar is added to almost all the food you buy for your breakfast/lunch/dinner without you knowing, sugar is addictive, refined sugar doesn't give you any benefits (health or otherwise) unless you're an athlete or don't have access to enough food to cover your energy requirements.

    I think the main issue is that sugar is very addictive and most people just can't stop consuming it. The more you eat the more you crave. And it's very easy and cheap to get it. Not sure if focusing on sugar will do any good to prevent obesity but it seems to be the low hanging fruit at the moment.

    Next low hanging fruit, instant noodles Instant noodles brought obesity to the Arctic | New York Post

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    A quote directly from the paper

    "According to an industry analysis (27), total sales of all nonalcoholic, water-based beverages in Australia increased 26% from 1997 to 2011, which was driven largely by increasing sales of nonsugar beverages (+73%). "

    I wonder what is their definition of nonsugar beverages...is there actually any commercial beverages that are non-sweetened (other than the plain ol' mineral water)? I have a hard time finding likeable nonsweetened beverages in the supermarket, and an even harder time believing that people would be purchasing 73% more mineral water than in the past....

    another quote

    " In contrast, intake of confectionery [chocolate, licorice, sweets, and health bars (e.g., cereal, nut, fruit, or seed bars)] rose in men (+47%)"

    Worth noting their scope is mostly on beverages, not food (what about yoghurt, cereal, chips etc). So as long as you eat more sweetened food and not drink them, your sugar count is okay and would be considered declining.

    In summary, the claim is that the consumption of sugared beverages is declining. I wonder if that tallies up on the other end, that I would expect the sales of sugar/sweetener are also declining in Australia??? I could hardly imagine the sugar giants doing nothing and content with watching their profits declining each year...on the other hand, they seem to grow larger and larger......



    If anything, the title of that article is a recipe for disaster - for creating misunderstanding & hyperbole...it's attention-catching enough though, which I suppose is what the author intended to do.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    I think most folks would agree that people in 1st World countries simply eat too much per se, and eat too much 'comfort/snack food'. The latter being 'food' that is unnecessary for sustenance and is simply consumed because it tastes good, and we can.
    We all know that so much processed food is unnecessarily loaded with sugar but it is a major production to avoid the stuff.
    It is certainly addictive, even for those of an earlier generation who were not raised on processed food.
    A lot of people simply do not have the willpower to limit their intake of unhealthy products and this is where it is the responsibility of the government to legislate for healthier foods.
    Unfortunately governments don't like to take a common sense stand on anything that might be electorally unpopular (or reduce their revenue) so we continue to have poker machines, on-line gambling, extended trading hours for hotels, and unhealthy junk-food that results in overuse of the hospitals and health system and unaffordable health insurance premiums.

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Yes, the problem is far more complicated than simply 'too much sugar'. A complex problem requires a solution that's a bit more involved than blaming one thing.

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    Focus on sugar to prevent obesity a 'recipe for disaster

    Inactivity is the biggest problem.

    Suburbs designed without footpaths or shops. No one walking or cycling anywhere. Every time they leave home it's in the car. To the drive thru Maccas and drive thru ATM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    Inactivity is the biggest problem.

    Suburbs designed without footpaths or shops. No one walking or cycling anywhere. Every time they leave home it's in the car. To the drive thru Meccas and drive thru ATM.
    A sedentary life style is certainly a contributing factor, combine inactivity with poor eating habits and you have a real problem.


    • Physical inactivity may increase the risks of certain cancers.
    • Physical inactivity may contribute to anxiety and depression.
    • Physical inactivity has been shown to be a risk factor for certain cardiovascular diseases.
    • People who engage in more physical activity are less likely to develop coronary heart disease.
    • People who are more active are less likely to be overweight or obese.
    • Sitting too much may cause a decrease in skeletal muscle mass.
    • Physical inactivity is linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels.

  8. #8
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    A sedentary life style is certainly a contributing factor, combine inactivity with poor eating habits and you have a real problem.


    • Physical inactivity may increase the risks of certain cancers.
    • Physical inactivity may contribute to anxiety and depression.
    • Physical inactivity has been shown to be a risk factor for certain cardiovascular diseases.
    • People who engage in more physical activity are less likely to develop coronary heart disease.
    • People who are more active are less likely to be overweight or obese.
    • Sitting too much may cause a decrease in skeletal muscle mass.
    • Physical inactivity is linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels.
    And that's just the start of it. Sitting for long periods of time is now thought to be as detrimental to your health as smoking or eating fast food every day. Bone mass decrease is one of many problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    results in overuse of the hospitals and health system and unaffordable health insurance premiums.
    This. I'm glad this was brought up. I've been on the verge of scolding parents in hospitals. Fair enough, I was given chocolate and candy growing up as a kid, but I was also encouraged (forced) to play a sport in both summer and winter. It did me a lot of good.
    I see parents now hand their morbidly obese kids a chocolate bar when the want a snack, or have watched a kid drink a farmers union iced coffee (which I think should be regulated to the same extent as alcohol) like he was in a beer chugging contest.
    I never went to primary or high school in this country, but I think that's where we need to hit kids hard with nutrition habits. That, and tax the crap out of unhealthy food. Morbid obesity (and it's run on effects) and poor lifestyle habits take up almost all my time in the hospital.
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    Quote Originally Posted by roburu View Post

    There are a few issues that I can see with sugar though: refined sugar is added to almost all the food you buy for your breakfast/lunch/dinner without you knowing, sugar is addictive, refined sugar doesn't give you any benefits (health or otherwise) unless you're an athlete or don't have access to enough food to cover your energy requirements.
    This exactly. If you have some spare time, i'd highly recommend watching "That Sugar Film". The star of the film uses his own body as an experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body. The documentary has essentially changed my life and i cannot go into a supermarket without studying the nutritional information on every item i pick up.

    Watch That Sugar Film 2014 Online Free Full Movie - WowMovie
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    I watched 4 Corners last night. Sad and disturbing program about the working-class Americans left behind in the so-called 'Recovery' of the US economy.
    Young family (single mum =2 kids) eating pizza for main meal. Mum and one child already obese and second well on the way. (these poor buggers were living in a cheap motel and mum was working two shift-work jobs in fast-food joints)
    Had me wondering - are they not aware of the problems with unhealthy fast-food? Do they have any idea of what a healthy meal would comprise? Her mother-in-law lived with them also and obviously had no concept of healthy food either. (in fairness - they may have been prohibited from cooking in the motel room - which would make things difficult)
    My point is that for the poor, this kind of 'family tragedy' spins off resulting problems like how to have any sort of healthy diet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    I watched 4 Corners last night. Sad and disturbing program about the working-class Americans left behind in the so-called 'Recovery' of the US economy.
    Young family (single mum =2 kids) eating pizza for main meal. Mum and one child already obese and second well on the way. (these poor buggers were living in a cheap motel and mum was working two shift-work jobs in fast-food joints)
    Had me wondering - are they not aware of the problems with unhealthy fast-food? Do they have any idea of what a healthy meal would comprise? Her mother-in-law lived with them also and obviously had no concept of healthy food either. (in fairness - they may have been prohibited from cooking in the motel room - which would make things difficult)
    My point is that for the poor, this kind of 'family tragedy' spins off resulting problems like how to have any sort of healthy diet.
    i think you hit the nail on the head mate. People just have no idea. I'll get a patient who is morbidly obese and ask them about their diet. I kid you not the default answer is "I eat lean meat and some veg". You can take one look and know that's not true. The same person will then have a bottle of coke (full sugar)and a bag of lollies by their bed and their partner will bring in KFC. I wish I was joking.
    Fast food is too easily accessed. I'm a culprit too, but then my BMI isn't 50. It's worse in North America where I used to live, you can get an entire meal for a whole family for under $20. It's sad, but when it comes to a struggling family on a low wage, eating healthy (regardless of where in the world) isn't economical. But I still think educating people is where the issue is.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Mathiar - I guess I am always a bit surprised that folks either don't have any insight to their diet, or just choose to ignore it.
    I have seen many people over the years that clearly have weight problems but just continue to eat way too much, and the wrong things.
    The surprising thing is that they will tell you they are careful with their diet.
    As a naturally skinny person, I have it easy. I can eat anything I want and the only place I would put on weight is a 'pot belly' but I avoid unhealthy stuff just because it makes sense to do so.
    A lot of folks just 'fool' themselves.
    Last edited by Rocky; 15th March 2017 at 01:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chapeau View Post
    This exactly. If you have some spare time, i'd highly recommend watching "That Sugar Film". The star of the film uses his own body as an experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body. The documentary has essentially changed my life and i cannot go into a supermarket without studying the nutritional information on every item i pick up.

    Watch That Sugar Film 2014 Online Free Full Movie - WowMovie

    this, with one important distinction - his diet comprised of food marketed as 'healthy', like cereals, juice, and low-fat yoghurt. he wasn't chowing down on biccies and ice-cream all day.

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    People just have no idea. I'll get a patient who is morbidly obese and ask them about their diet. I kid you not the default answer is "I eat lean meat and some veg". You can take one look and know that's not true.
    I have seen many people over the years that clearly have weight problems but just continue to eat way too much, and the wrong things.
    The surprising thing is that they will tell you they are careful with their diet.
    It's not always/entirely their fault though. Sometimes it's the surrounding & environment that makes up what a person perceive as normal - either because they got so used to it or that is all they have ever been exposed to. It's just like what this article is saying - fish don't know they're in water. https://sivers.org/fish It is a problem that they never see exists, or never knew it is a problem.

    I am sure all of us too have some habit, belief, or action that seem perfectly natural to us (including our families and friends) that we never question. Until, someone out of our usual social circle comments about it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Sam, I'm sure that's right. About a decade ago a mate who was a D&A Counsellor suggested to me that it was a good idea to have a couple of alcohol-free days a week to give the body a chance to be "toxin-free".
    Up to that point I always had a couple of glasses of wine in the evening but it seemed a really sensible piece of advice so I stopped having alcohol during the week. Likewise I limit my Caffeine.
    I do think there is so much clear information about diet out there these days that it is hard to ignore it. Even if you think the 'jury is still out' on a lot of issues (cholesterol, sugar, fat, salt, alcohol etc) common sense says you should think about your 'exposure' to the various "evils" and maybe adopt an "everything in moderation" approach.
    Also, some people seem to have a super-efficient metabolism that extracts and stores every gram of fat whilst others like me just circulate it in the bloodstream clogging up our arteries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Also, some people seem to have a super-efficient metabolism that extracts and stores every gram of fat whilst others like me just circulate it in the bloodstream clogging up our arteries.
    Just wanted to flag something I read a while ago that was pretty scary to me as I always associated skinny (not abnormally skinny though) with healthy. Sorry for the slight off topic.

    Apparently people can eat an unhealthy diet and be skinny, potentially being "skinny fat" people. Basically the fat deposits around internal organs instead of being stored overall and it's actually very dangerous as it puts them at high risk for heart disease, diabetes, or stroke. There are a number of articles about this, here is one: Skinny Fat: The Hidden Dangers of Being Thin and Flabby | Time.com .

    It was an eye opener for me and and got me to realise that staying skinny while eating tons of crap doesn't mean you're healthy but more likely that you're missing something. Could be a digestive system problem, could be the skinny fat thing, etc.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    I agree Rob - Diet is just as important for skinny people like me because for some, there can be a temptation to eat a lot of rubbish simply because there are no obvious consequences - until the Heart Attack.
    I have been a very careful eater all my life, simply because 'junk food' has never had much appeal for me. My extended family are all skinny and long-lived and not junk-food eaters. I DO wonder however whether the skinny build is indicative of a digestive system that fails to extract as much benefit from food as a fat person does. I am 'hyperactive' by nature and often feel tired and lacking in energy. Makes me wonder if there are enough calories going in, or whether I am just burning them at a fast rate.
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    There is a difference between naturally occurring sugars in foods and processed sugar. The sugar used in things like soft drinks and fast foods do play a role in the obesity epidemic.

    I'm actually trying a follow a Low GI diet, with varying degrees of success. I have managed to go down 3 sizes of jeans. I do go to a walking group during the week.

    Now I could make a droll sentence about how, being a regular guy, I eat a lot of brown rice. But I wont

  20. #20
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    The whole thing is so complex. To digress a little:
    I am a 20-year-plus Reflux sufferer and the latest material I have read (Fast Track Digestion - Dr. Norman Robillard) focuses on the microbiological impacts of different food types in terms of the way they are digested (or not). His theory, supported by his research (he is a Microbiologist) is that people with possible 'food processing disorders' like mine may need to avoid certain types of food that the human body has difficulty digesting. These foods (Fructose, Starch, Fibre etc) hang about too long in the intestines while the system struggles to digest them and causes lots of uncomfortable symptoms (Gas, pain, acid)
    He has produced a chart that lists the "fermentation potential (FP)" of a big range of foods and shows that (for e.g.) 'Cornflakes' have a very low FP, Oatmeal a Moderate one, and 'All Bran' a very high FP. The lesson here being that people like me may need to have 'Cornflakes' for breakfast rather than 'All Bran'.
    Bit 'off-topic' but thought I would mention it anyhow.
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