Soda isn't the sole cause, but it's a great place to start

Note to devious mouthpieces of Big Food ("Always with the negative waves, man."):

Something needn't the sole cause of a problem to be a cause of a problem. So when you fault any attempt to curb consumption of sugary sodas because soda isn't the sole cause of obesity, you're just obscuring the truth.

No, sugary soda is not solely responsible. The problem and its contributors are varied, confusing, and sometimes conflicting.

Buried under mountains of sugar

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The onslaught of sugar in the American diet and its effect on our ability to sense sweetness — and other outcomes — is the subject of this speech I gave to my Toastmasters club last week. The assignment was to present a researched and sourced contention.

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Just because we can, should we?

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I was reading a lengthy-but-completely-on-target article in the British newspaper The Telegraph on sugar dependence — boy, the Brits are much more on top of this topic than American media is — when I noticed this "top stories" box at its bottom.

Sex and food, yes, but the last entry is what moved me to share it.

"Low sugar hot fudge sauce" exemplifies what I consider some of the most pernicious threads of modern humanity:

The ED establishment throws a bone to biology

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I ran across a page from the National Eating Disorder Association that I thought was worth a few grafs (as in "paragraphs," a vestige of newspaper-ese). The page’s headline is “Factors That May Contribute to Eating Disorders.”

The good news  is that one of the subheadings is “Biological Factors That Can Contribute to Eating Disorders.” I, of course, expend a lot of my time promoting the biological aspect, without which “food addiction” would be the empty suit its detractors paint it.

Plough and Stars farmers-in-training blog

I'm trying to imagine the readers who wouldn't like the Plough and Stars website and blog being operated by two former Boston Globe colleagues whom I barely knew: Erik Jacobs and Dina Rudick. Both are photographers, though that's only the beginning of a serviceable description.

You can choose to be fat, but why would you want to?

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How’s this for breathtaking disclosure: I am not a woman.

I think of myself as a feminist, in that I think women have the same rights to ... everything despite  centuries of acculturation to the contrary. Now, whether the objective woman would review my record and agree that my actions are consistent with this pronouncement, I can only hope.

Abstinence makes the body more aware

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I’ve got a big raspberry for the Polar beverages vendor at my local market. He lost focus in what I’m sure is a mind-numbing part of his job, and the result for me was a headache, dry mouth, and not a little bit of consternation.

It is a weakness of mine that no matter what I’m in that market for, I stop by the soda aisle and pop open a liter of whatever, and yesterday it was Polar's diet raspberry lime. I’m a fairly careful shopper, especially when it comes to sugar or sugar-free, and I was definitely in the sugar-free area.


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