refined sugar

Error message

Deprecated function: implode(): Passing glue string after array is deprecated. Swap the parameters in drupal_get_feeds() (line 394 of /home/michaelprager/michaelprager.com/includes/common.inc).

It's not morality; it's a response to a public-health emergency

Barnaby Joyce Australian Nationals leader, defending the interests of the sugar industry, instead of public health.Australian political leader Barnaby Joyce (above) came across my screen today, and I couldn’t let him go.

An institute study argues that a national anti-obesity effort should be funded by a tax on sugary beverages, and Joyce decried it as “another moralistic tax.” [Link includes video of interview.]

Joyce calls the idea “bonkers mad” because it would create “massive problems” for the sugar industry. He says the Australian Tax Office isn’t going to make people lose weight, going for a run and cutting portion sizes will. You may be saying, “Yeah, so what? This is how conservatives react to this proposed public-health response to an evident public-health problem.” I would respond that you’re correct.

The reason for writing is to poke at this idea of a “moralistic tax.” There’s nothing moral about it. The ubiquity of refined sugar, most notoriously in sugary beverages, threatens public health. Substantial societal costs result from this threat, and it is the job of government to meet public-health threats.

To say that we should leave public-health threats to personal responsibility — now that's “bonkers mad.”


Sugar is a mood-altering substance

For birthdays, anniversaries, job promotions, graduations, and so many more, it’s just not a celebration without sweets. Cake, cookies, ice cream — for many of us, they’re the biggest appeal of the event.

That’s because sugar is a mood-altering substance.

True, most often that phrase is pinned on corrosive substances such as heroin, cocaine, tobacco, and alcohol. Only a radical, a killjoy, or worse would apply it to such a cause of merriment and enjoyment, right?


For Sugar Awareness Week, a look at the white powder's broad impact

I attended a daylong presentation by Donna Serdula on Saturday in which she conveyed some of her boundless knowledge about LinkedIn. One effect is that I'm trying something slightly different.

Instead of publishing my latest post here, I posted it on LinkedIn Pulse, to see if it would lead to greater activity on that platform. 


Joan Ifland: "A lover of food addicts"

    Joan Ifland and I got together virtually last month for an informative conversation, and I posted the unedited video version in early August. This is the edited-text version; Joan got to see and approve the edits.
    Joan and I met at least 10 years ago at a conference she organized in Houston for food addiction professionals. One of Joan’s first claims to fame is being the lead author of the first academically published description of food addiction in humans. She later founded Victory Meals, which makes and distributes healthy, unprocessed food meals and other products and she operates a several-thousand-member private group on Facebook helping those who struggle with food addiction. 

Joan Ifland, food-addiction pioneer

Born when and where? "Beaver Falls, Pa., Oct. 25, 1951."
Where do you live now? "Cincinnati, Ohio."
Family circumstance "My oldest daughter is expecting a son in December, so we just have her in our prayers and thoughts, and I have a younger daughter. My older daughter, Claire, works for Kindle in London and my younger daughter, Camille, is a doctor working in Seattle and I am divorced."
An early influence on you outside your immediate family. "Kay Sheppard (her website | her 10 Words or Less interview). Kay Sheppard is my hero."
Saya little bit more about that, please. "Well, she saved my life. In 1996 I picked up her book. I eliminated sugars and flours from my food plan. I joined a support group and my life changed radically. And that's how I got into this field."
What did you want to be when you grow up? "A vet."
How long did that last? "Not very long. By the time I was actually in school I was taking economics, political science. I took my MBA and I wanted to be like my dad. He was a corporate scientist and I wanted to be like him."
How can someone be addicted to food? Don’t you need food to survive? "There are two kinds of food, just like there are two kinds of beverages, alcoholic, non-alcoholic, and then in the food realm, addictive, non-addictive."


Consider the outcome, instead of the effort

Part of a continuing series related to ideas in my book, “Sustainable You/8 First Steps to Lasting Change in Business and in Life.” 

When I share about the changes I’ve undertaken in the second half of my life, relative to the first, I often hear the reply, “oh, I could never do that.”

Let’s put aside the details people react to, and consider the outlook. For the vast majority of possibilities, of course they could. Of course you could. Of course I could.


Alex Beam, defending cultural orthodoxy

Alex Beam, columnist for the Boston Globe, is not only a friend and former colleague, but one of the only columnists I've followed over time because he's deft at carving out niches that others never conceive.

But in his nutrition niche, he's not nearly as counterintuitive as he strives to be. He is a clueless wanker, repeatedly and again, just like everyone else.


Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages works!

One of the arguments the soldiers of Big Soda — and sometimes, their well-meaning compatriots — have used against taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages is that they won’t change consumer behavior. And, of course, they’ve been able to maintain that fiction, until now, because they’ve scrapped relentlessly to defeat proposals in the US.

But in Mexico, such a tax was instituted at the beginning of 2014, and researchers from Mexico’s National Public Health Institute and the University of North Carolina and have preliminary data on its effect.


Grateful for gratitude, theirs and mine

There’s a maxim among people I know that says something like, “Just for today, I’ll help another person, and if it is found out, it won’t count.” Well not that, but the point being, “The glow of helping others is tarnished by bragging about it.”

My wife, the estimable Georgina, says the act of helping is what matters most, regardless, but I’m stuck in the middle. Yes, helping is helping, but I am not unfamiliar with helping as showing off.

Which is why I hesitate to relate the following, which I received four days ago:


Corn refiners delight in evidence that they're being perceived as only as bad as the other sugars

For a few years, a small set of food-product entries have been boasting that they have “real” sugar, instead of the demon high fructose corn syrup. But that trend appears to be slowing, says this story from foodnavigator-usa.com


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - refined sugar