Big Sugar: is the Good Ship Lollipop Sinking?


It’s in our coffee, tea, and on our toast. It’s in the morning breakfast, the yogourt, in juice and in spaghetti sauce. Sugar sweetens our food, and makes the medicine go down easier. But what is it doing for our health?

For most of us, it’s easier to turn a blind eye.

The sugar industry has led a 40-year campaign to keep people thinking that sugar might be harmful, according to an investigative article called Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies in Mother Jones Magazine this winter.

Mother Jones investigated the research of American dentist Cristin Kearns Couzens, who had a nagging feeling that the research on sugar’s effects on health was biased. She ended up devoting two years of her life investigating the reasons why sugar has not been condemned as a significant cause of heart disease, diabetes, not to mention tooth decay.

Couzens isn’t the only one that has had that nagging feeling, but most of us just don’t want to know it’s not good for us. Since the 1950s, when the sugar industry began producing advertising for magazines that promoted sugar as a harmless product that could even help you stay thin, sugar consumption has increased along with the prevalence of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Mother Jones assembled a timeline of sugar marketing to show how the PR campaign evolved over the decades to respond to consumer concerns over sugar.

By scouring archives of the sugar industry, Dr. Couzens discovered internal documents which revealed a comprehensive strategy of funding research, scientific consultants, and public relations campaigns to communicate that sugar is benign to consumers. Similar strategies were successfully used by big tobacco to hide the negative health effects of cigarettes.

Recent scientific studies, published by scientific journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association have proven causal links between sugar consumption and weight gain, increased insulin levels, and elevated triglycerides, symptoms which in turn can cause metabolic syndrome. This condition is the primary risk factor for both heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

A recent CBC Health series has said that “Big Sugar” is using the same tactics as the tobacco industry. Question is: will they suffer the same consequences?

Read the CBC story:  Sugar industry’s secret documents echo tobacco tactics

The Good Ship Lollipop

If you eat too much, will you awake with a tummy ache?

Shirley Temple sings about the sandy beach of peppermint bay, on her way to a belly-ache, a sweet trip on the good ship lollipop!

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