Opponents of soda taxes say they don't work. They point to a study from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Actually, that study showed that soda taxes do work. Weak soda taxes of three percent, without any accompanying public health campaign, work weakly. But, they work. They decrease soda consumption.
I'm suggesting that you think the same way about the calories you are willing to "buy." Put a dollar sign in front of a calorie count as you look at the nutrition label on products you eat. Is it worth it, or is it wasted? Will it leave you wanting more? Does it meet your requirements? Is it more than you're willing to pay, for what you get?
By the end of the day I feel squishy and repulsed at myself, but I give myself a pat on the back for not eating any of the refined white stuff. Sure, dried-fruit sugar is still sugar, but it's, like, from fruit. That's got to count for something, doesn't it? It's better than the crap from a Domino's box anyway.
A study out last week in the top-tier journal Nature told us that non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) may contribute to glucose intolerance by mucking up our microbiomes. That's a serious indictment, since these products are intended to help defend against glucose intolerance, and other ills related to diabetes risk and weight gain.
It wasn't that long ago we had a different attitude to desserts. As a kid of the baby boomer generation, I remember desserts as a treat. Something you splurged on occasionally. You didn't have it every night and you certainly did not have it for breakfast or the sugar equivalent in sodas between meals.
The nutritional fable goes something like this: Rather than criticize industry for its questionable practices, health organizations should "sit at the table" with industry leaders and see what compromises can be reached. This all sounds wonderfully cooperative and democratic, but it also ignores some stark realities.
Public health and nutrition dialogues need clear, explicit messages. Naturally-occurring sugars and added sugars are very different animals. The same goes for processed foods. How is it that a national nutrition organization can simply choose not to recognize that cooking a pot of oatmeal is vastly different from making a Three Musketeers bar in a processing plant?