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3 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2012 - 11:37PM #281
rabello
Posts: 21,297

Well, minor-aged children don't have the luxury of getting to make such a decision for themselves, and it children for whom these findings and conclusions are most relevant.  The head researcher is an expert in childhood obesity, afterall. 


To be obese or have an obesity-related condition by age 18 puts these kids at significant disadvantage, especially in a culture as individually competitive as the US -- and that disadvantage affects society as a whole.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2012 - 11:45PM #282
Father_Oblivion
Posts: 11,836

Restricting access to sugar is not the solution, it is a band-aid on a much much larger problem and ultimately will not only fail in its intent but will also open the doors for other forms of restriction which have far more sinister intentions.

The important thing to remember about American history is that it is fictional, a charcoal-sketched simplicity for the children or the easily bored. For the most part it is uninspected, unimagined, unthought, a representative of the thing and not the thing itself. It is a fine fiction...
Neil Gaiman
'American Gods'

‎"Ignorance of ignorance, then, is that self-satisfied state of unawareness in which man, knowing nothing outside the limited area of his physical senses, bumptiously declares there is nothing more to know! He who knows no life save the physical is merely ignorant; but he who declares physical life to be all-important and elevates it to the position of supreme reality--such a one is ignorant of his own ignorance."
- Manly Palmer Hall
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2012 - 12:00AM #283
rabello
Posts: 21,297

I think it's less about restricting access to sugar (and HFCS) to individuals, than it is about controlling the amount of unnecessary sugar (or HFCS) to the foods they manufacture and sell to the public, targetting minor children with the super-sweetness and the multi-million dollar ads.    Except for age and, in some states, date of the week, anyone who wants to buy liquor or cigarettes can do so at any time.  The substances in liquor and cigarettes have not been labelled "controlled substances" the way narcotics are, and are not treated the way controlled substances like narcotics are treated, although there remain activist groups that are still trying to get cigarettes labelled as narcotics.  That'll never happen, just like sugar will never be banned or restricted from the general public.  

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2012 - 9:20AM #284
IreneAdler
Posts: 2,849

Feb 19, 2012 -- 9:30PM, rabello wrote:


OK, so the "scientists" who conducted this study and got it published in Nature are more than likely "in love" with their conclusions and didn't control their experiments well enough to make the conclusions that they did, much less get them published in Nature.  We know this because their findings and recommendations don't go along with our everyday common sense, and are not presented in the same way nutritionists would present them.


Why is it, then, that nutritionists place sugar-laden foods at the very top of the Food Pyramid, not in the middle, and recommend that sugar-laden foods be ingested sparingly and even less frequently than red meat?


As I've said before, this is a study in PUBLIC health, not PRIVATE, and the fact that some people have such "superior" genetics that they don't need to pay attention to current findings in medical research doesn't mean that nobody should pay attention to current findings in medical research.  What do the naysayers think should be done about the spike in the incidence of obesity in children and the spike in things like adult-onset diabetes in children and the finding of moderate athrerosclerosis in children?   Nothing but show them a picture of "My Plate" and make them take PE at school?  (that's already being done and it's not working) 






 


Wow Rabello- I sure didn’t mean to cause you upset with my words. I am sorry to have done that.


Now, I’m not saying the researchers and their observations are bunk. Observations drawn from good data are of value. Please don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.


But “correlation is not causation”.  Theories (limit sugar consumption) are based on observations and those observations can be incomplete (did the observers account for all possible variables?). And the theories change over time with the addition of more observations. Publishing -even in a well respected peer-reviewed journal- is no protection from this. 


 


Going back to my little “guinea pigs” in the lab premise, the data from self-reporting or from folks not contained within a lab setting does not control for all possible variables.  We have folks reporting their dietary habits, maybe their exercise habits, and blood pressure or other measurements, but what about environmental factors?  Solf brought up the BPA in can linings. Are there other, yet uncovered, environmental substances that are prompting unprecedented weight gain? This weight gain seems to be in conjunction with the introduction of HFCS into food, but there have been other changes to the food supply- and to the environment too.  There’s exposure to cell phones that wasn’t around 30 years ago, there’s modified grains (not Frankenfood, but growers do tweak their seeds to enhance desirable characteristics or change growing practices), a lot more reason to remain stationary (computers, safety concerns), and, found in many processed foods, are additives that the manufacturer does not have to explain how they were prepared.  Residual chemicals from additives –anyone look into the presence of these and how they affect bodily health? While manufacturers do have to state what’s in the food, they do not have to state how the ingredients were made. These additives are GRAS (generally regarded as Safe) but how was this determined-any study on long–term cumulative affects? Ever wonder what “natural flavorings” are? How about “artificial flavorings”? Many “flavorings” are extracts from wheat or other grains. Sounds harmless. But to get this natural flavoring, the wheat is treated with acid or alcohol or other substance to separate the desired entity from the wheat.  And this chemical is not stated on the ingredients list because it is present in too small an amount (no doubt that just ruined some folk’s breakfast).


 I would also point out that many processed foods contain organic chemical additives that supply flavor (suggest perusing the book Fast Food Nation regarding this).  These too, do not need to be stated on an ingredient list.  These organic chemicals are what make the McD’s hamburger smell and taste exactly the same no matter when or where you purchase that burger.  Are these chemicals triggering some sort of addictive response (think along the lines of nicotine) or do they alter how the body uses the food consumed? Can’t say.


How about the influx of chemicals in the atmosphere and in the ground that were not present 30 years ago or were present in far smaller amounts? Can these be definitively ruled out as not the cause for weight gain/health issues?


Can one explain the mechanism whereby HFCS causes an increase in weight-but other sugars do not elicit weight gain? Is this simply a matter of quantity consumed? Can one detail the metabolic pathway whereby the body preferentially takes HFCS and creates fat (and thus weight gain and other adverse health issues)?  Not yet.


And, how come there are those who can live at McD’s and not gain an ounce where others simply write “McD’s” and gain 5 pounds? Genetics? What gene? Have we seen the experiment to prove it is genetics? MM makes a valid point regarding perception. Maybe the person living at McD’s doesn’t actually consume much, whereby the one who insists they do not consume McD’s fare is tucking into a large spaghetti dinner at daily intervals.  Not a fair basis to evaluate the effect of genetics on weight gain.


When I was in school –a looooog time ago—it was believed that fructose was good for diabetics. This is because it was observed that ingesting fructose did not spike blood sugar levels like other sugars.  The way the body metabolized fructose was not understood, but the scientific opinion was that fructose was good for diabetics because the blood sugar level increased slowly over time. Later on, the observation was made that those who ingested significant amount of fructose exhibited higher level of triglycerides in their blood (don’t have to tell anyone here this is a bd thing).


Now we understand how the body uses fructose and it is no longer considered to be good for diabetics. Fructose must be changed into glucose for the body to utilize it (note: all sugars must be broken down or altered into glucose to be utilized by the body).  But the enzyme for this is only found in the liver.  And, once the liver modifies the fructose, it isn’t always sent out into the bloodstream as glucose.  If one’s blood sugar level is normal or high, there is no need for additional glucose in the bloodstream.  Instead, the fructose is converted into triglycerides and then stored as fat- in and around the liver (which has the propensity to eventually result in fatty liver disease).


The above is not to say fructose is bad; there is something to be said about how much food is ingested at one sitting.  Does consuming the HFCS alone or with a meal make a difference?   When blood sugar is low, does the body use HFCS as energy or is there something that overrides this and causes the body to store the calories as fat (oh, this would be mighty difficult to test under strict lab conditions!)? Including proteins and fat with sugar ingestion slows down the passing of sugar into the blood stream. This can help even out blood sugar levels and utilize the sugar as energy instead of storing it as fat. Is this the difference between HFCS as sweetener and HFCS as health hazard?


 


So, did the observational data include how folks eat? It is assumed folks consume three meals a day. Was this the case for those who seem to have gained a lot of weight from consumption of HFCS? Given how the body uses sugar in relation to blood sugar level, do those who eat 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day (which include HFCS) not trigger fat storage while those who eat one giant meal a day (or otherwise consume big meals spaced far apart) trigger fat storage? Can’t say. Maybe this is the difference we attribute to genetics? 


 


Irene

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2012 - 10:59AM #285
christine3
Posts: 7,179

Feb 19, 2012 -- 11:45PM, Father_Oblivion wrote:


Restricting access to sugar is not the solution, it is a band-aid on a much much larger problem and ultimately will not only fail in its intent but will also open the doors for other forms of restriction which have far more sinister intentions.




Yes, as I see it, sugar overconsumption is part of a mega problem.  All the problems on this planet have to be understood with intelligence and tackled by educated people who are willing to work hard to prevent this planet from going to hell in a handbasket.  Education, can we afford it (poor population)?  Who doesn't want us to know what? (by confusing the issues).  Dumbing down the population.


Seven billion people on the planet, most of whom have no quality of life, no security. Socialism would be fine if the leaders were honest.  I don't trust the rich.  Are they priming the world population for taxation on sugar? Next salt? Forced licensing to use them?  I see this all as part of a great conspiracy to enslave the populations, make them poorer and more helpless.  That's why I hate money and what it ultimately does.


Look at what happened to milk in California and milk products.  When I was a child, there were two categories, whole and skim (okay that's fine). In my adult years, 2% and 1% and organic.  These added selections made more jobs, and eventually resulted in taxation.  Just recently we have forced added taxation on butter for some reason I don't understand right now, in California.  What it all gets down to: make money for somebody somewhere.  Then confusion as to why our paychecks continually dwindle.  Confusion about everything!  It all wraps back around to making people dumb by restricting their education and befuddling them.  In my opinion.  In order for governments to control, must have a weakened population that can't fight back.


Remember our mantra when we were young "Don't trust anybody over 30".  The climate has been bad for quite a few years.  I should not trust anybody over 20 now, because anybody who is old enough to hold a government job, is going to be a cog in the wheel of corruption.  Whether people in controlling positions *are* the bad guys or *look* like the good guys, even the good guys are enmeshed in some overall covert plot, are pulled by strings as are puppets, to control the masses in some way.  


Right now I see overconsumption of sugar as one more way (among all the ways that are being used right now) to make people sick and not able to rise up in unity.  New mantra: "Give me unity or give me death!" There are so many problems in this world...all debilitating the people.  I try and tackle one at a time in my own backyard, if I even can.


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3 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2012 - 1:15PM #286
rabello
Posts: 21,297

Feb 20, 2012 -- 9:20AM, IreneAdler wrote:


Wow Rabello- I sure didn’t mean to cause you upset with my words. I am sorry to have done that.




You didn't upset me, Irene!!  Certainly no reason to apologize.  I appreciate your educated posts!!   I said a couple of times, the research that is the topic of this thread may be right, it may be wrong.  What I have not appreciated, here, is the misrepresentation (as in "they want to take my sugar away") and the invective, calling people, including the researchers, "uneducated," "hysterical", "so-called" scientists, wanting to be popular, publishing "junk science" just to "go along with the crowd", etc.  


Personally, I am interested in public health policies and ideas.  Personally, I'd like to see our society do something positive in the interest of children's health, with regard to unnecessarily sweetened manufactured foods plus the multimillion dollar ad campaigns that are targeted at them, just for the profit of a few mega corporations, and with congress at its knees before the sugar lobby and the corn lobby. 


I am surprised to find that more Americans are not interested in such things and seem to support an attitude "let them eat their cake, it's not me or my kid that's affected", but not the first time I am surprised by American atttudes!!


Feb 20, 2012 -- 9:20AM, IreneAdler wrote:


Now, I’m not saying the researchers and their observations are bunk. Observations drawn from good data are of value. Please don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.


But “correlation is not causation”.  Theories (limit sugar consumption) are based on observations and those observations can be incomplete (did the observers account for all possible variables?). And the theories change over time with the addition of more observations. Publishing -even in a well respected peer-reviewed journal- is no protection from this. 


 


Going back to my little “guinea pigs” in the lab premise, the data from self-reporting or from folks not contained within a lab setting does not control for all possible variables.  We have folks reporting their dietary habits, maybe their exercise habits, and blood pressure or other measurements, but what about environmental factors?  Solf brought up the BPA in can linings. Are there other, yet uncovered, environmental substances that are prompting unprecedented weight gain? This weight gain seems to be in conjunction with the introduction of HFCS into food, but there have been other changes to the food supply- and to the environment too.  There’s exposure to cell phones that wasn’t around 30 years ago, there’s modified grains (not Frankenfood, but growers do tweak their seeds to enhance desirable characteristics or change growing practices), a lot more reason to remain stationary (computers, safety concerns), and, found in many processed foods, are additives that the manufacturer does not have to explain how they were prepared.  Residual chemicals from additives –anyone look into the presence of these and how they affect bodily health? While manufacturers do have to state what’s in the food, they do not have to state how the ingredients were made. These additives are GRAS (generally regarded as Safe) but how was this determined-any study on long–term cumulative affects? Ever wonder what “natural flavorings” are? How about “artificial flavorings”? Many “flavorings” are extracts from wheat or other grains. Sounds harmless. But to get this natural flavoring, the wheat is treated with acid or alcohol or other substance to separate the desired entity from the wheat.  And this chemical is not stated on the ingredients list because it is present in too small an amount (no doubt that just ruined some folk’s breakfast).


 I would also point out that many processed foods contain organic chemical additives that supply flavor (suggest perusing the book Fast Food Nation regarding this).  These too, do not need to be stated on an ingredient list.  These organic chemicals are what make the McD’s hamburger smell and taste exactly the same no matter when or where you purchase that burger.  Are these chemicals triggering some sort of addictive response (think along the lines of nicotine) or do they alter how the body uses the food consumed? Can’t say.


How about the influx of chemicals in the atmosphere and in the ground that were not present 30 years ago or were present in far smaller amounts? Can these be definitively ruled out as not the cause for weight gain/health issues?


Can one explain the mechanism whereby HFCS causes an increase in weight-but other sugars do not elicit weight gain? Is this simply a matter of quantity consumed? Can one detail the metabolic pathway whereby the body preferentially takes HFCS and creates fat (and thus weight gain and other adverse health issues)?  Not yet.


And, how come there are those who can live at McD’s and not gain an ounce where others simply write “McD’s” and gain 5 pounds? Genetics? What gene? Have we seen the experiment to prove it is genetics? MM makes a valid point regarding perception. Maybe the person living at McD’s doesn’t actually consume much, whereby the one who insists they do not consume McD’s fare is tucking into a large spaghetti dinner at daily intervals.  Not a fair basis to evaluate the effect of genetics on weight gain.


When I was in school –a looooog time ago—it was believed that fructose was good for diabetics. This is because it was observed that ingesting fructose did not spike blood sugar levels like other sugars.  The way the body metabolized fructose was not understood, but the scientific opinion was that fructose was good for diabetics because the blood sugar level increased slowly over time. Later on, the observation was made that those who ingested significant amount of fructose exhibited higher level of triglycerides in their blood (don’t have to tell anyone here this is a bd thing).


Now we understand how the body uses fructose and it is no longer considered to be good for diabetics. Fructose must be changed into glucose for the body to utilize it (note: all sugars must be broken down or altered into glucose to be utilized by the body).  But the enzyme for this is only found in the liver.  And, once the liver modifies the fructose, it isn’t always sent out into the bloodstream as glucose.  If one’s blood sugar level is normal or high, there is no need for additional glucose in the bloodstream.  Instead, the fructose is converted into triglycerides and then stored as fat- in and around the liver (which has the propensity to eventually result in fatty liver disease).


The above is not to say fructose is bad; there is something to be said about how much food is ingested at one sitting.  Does consuming the HFCS alone or with a meal make a difference?   When blood sugar is low, does the body use HFCS as energy or is there something that overrides this and causes the body to store the calories as fat (oh, this would be mighty difficult to test under strict lab conditions!)? Including proteins and fat with sugar ingestion slows down the passing of sugar into the blood stream. This can help even out blood sugar levels and utilize the sugar as energy instead of storing it as fat. Is this the difference between HFCS as sweetener and HFCS as health hazard?


 


So, did the observational data include how folks eat? It is assumed folks consume three meals a day. Was this the case for those who seem to have gained a lot of weight from consumption of HFCS? Given how the body uses sugar in relation to blood sugar level, do those who eat 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day (which include HFCS) not trigger fat storage while those who eat one giant meal a day (or otherwise consume big meals spaced far apart) trigger fat storage? Can’t say. Maybe this is the difference we attribute to genetics? 


 


Irene




I did not read the actual manuscript in Nature.


The NYT article mentions the researchers' claim that sucrose is metabolized differently than other sugars but we've already been instructed that there is no difference.


Anyway, thanks for your knowledgeable and thoughtful post, here.   The researchers suggested that classifying refined sugar as a "controlled substance" could be one way society could help people control the amount of processed sugar they intake since general education isn't working.  As Father_O has pointed out, that has a political component to it, not a scientifc one.  

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2012 - 2:35PM #287
solfeggio
Posts: 9,247

I'm glad to see that the thread has become a more intelligent discussion of the repercussions on our health of some of the foods we take for granted, and what we can do to at least try to develop healthier eating habits.   


Thank you very much for your considerable scientific input, Irene, which has helped put the thread back on track. 


Your thoughtful, intelligent observations are welcomed, Rabello and Christine. 


Father Oblivian, you bring up some good points about the political implications of trying to control any substance, from tobacco and liquor to something so' innocent' as sugar.  And I think we would all agree that governments can certainly issue recommendations about what we should or shouldn't eat, but they cannot truly keep people from ingesting whatever they wish, whether it is good for them or not.


The failure of the Volstead Act proved that.


A few random thoughts:


Jane says she comes to this thread 'for a laugh,' which is unfortunate, because any discussion about our society's eating habits is hardly a topic that would invite ridicule.  She further admits that she does not consider food topics 'hot' topics.  Again, this is unfortunate, considering that food is all important to the point where, without it, we do not survive.


So, I would consider any discussion about food in all its myriad forms to be the 'hottest' of topics, if you will.  And think about the fact that all around us at any time there are food meetings and discussions going on.  I serve people a morning tea every week.  When people get together in social gatherings they talk about where they last went out to eat and if the food was any good.  When we have Community Centre committee meetings every month, there's a luncheon setting.  Our AGM is a luncheon.  There are Christmas luncheons given by companies for their employees.  And so forth.


There's even a 24/7 food channel on cable.


But, just saying that no food is bad, or that we can eat anything in moderation, is not enough for me.  I look at the online science websites, and I read about whatever is going on with food testing, because I want to know as much as possible about what I eat. 


 


 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2012 - 2:41PM #288
IreneAdler
Posts: 2,849

Rabello wrote: The researchers suggested that classifying refined sugar as a "controlled substance" could be one way society could help people control the amount of processed sugar they intake since general education isn't working. As Father_O has pointed out, that has a political component to it, not a scientifc one.


 


Ya know, I’d like to see foods with sweeteners added marked in plain print.  Know what you are purchasing/consuming.  No surprises. Personally, I think there’s some deception going on with food labeling. I object to the unexpected places additives are found.  Examples: fruit juice – bugs me that sweeteners are added to this; nitrite and nitrate free- but look, they put in celery juice in it.  That’s gotta be healthy –right? Except that celery juice contains nitrites- and they add an amount equal to the amount of nitrites needed to preserve the food. No difference there. And look at the label – “no nitrates or nitrites added”.  Not right.


 


I think general education on nutrition fails because there’s a big disconnect. One is taught how one is supposed to eat-fruits, veggies, whole grains, good fats, low fat proteins, portion control; then one is bombarded with food decisions all day long. Beyond meal procurement, there’s ads in magazines, tv, and radio, good hospitality demands one offer guests refreshment, tantalizing smells in shopping malls (cinnamon buns!), social events (gotta have something to munch on!), rewards for good grades/behavior, sweet treats to shore up sad feelings, celebration and special occasion meals, snacks for evening tv viewing, etc. etc. Can’t tell you how many times I read a magazine article about proper eating/diet, and the next pages are recipes --all loaded with fat & carbs-- or an ad for junk food –neither of which conforms to the preceding article guidelines. Supposed to eat more veggies but one is presented with cookies and milk for snack-veggies are too much fuss.  Proper eating regimen is too much work- fast foods relieve the burden of providing meals. Not practicing what we preach.


And yes, there are those who truly do not know the nutrition basics. Is nutrition education well received here?


And we here at B-Net have had many discussions regarding the difficulty of procuring proper foods.  This is a legit issue too. 


Understanding the role of marketing and how advertisements work should be part of every child’s education. Something low in saturated fat isn’t necessarily low in total fat nor is it automatically the best choice of foods.  But for some reason, many folks hear ‘low in fat’ and figure consumption of said product is good for their health. Don’t want to parse out the nutrition label and understand what it means. Too difficult or too lazy?


Irene.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2012 - 2:43PM #289
IreneAdler
Posts: 2,849

Feb 20, 2012 -- 2:35PM, solfeggio wrote:


 


Jane says she comes to this thread 'for a laugh,' ...


 





No worries, Solf!


 


No doubt, Jane  is sound asleep after reading my posts. They are dry and booooring!!Wink


Irene.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2012 - 3:01PM #290
farragut
Posts: 4,016

No, Irene, they are not boring at all. You have been the welcome light of wisdom in this thread. And this, "Understanding the role of marketing and how advertisements work should be part of every child’s education", is, to my mind, the key message.


We cannot make as innocuous a substance as sugar a controlled substance; that just isn't going to happen. But the FDA is capable of effecting labeling rules that will help those who actually think about such things. And if we ever do learn how to educate our children, we can educate them in health, nutrition, and the deceptiveness of advertising as you suggest.

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