NYTimes Food Nanny: Soda a ‘disease vector’; Next to tobacco as largest cause of preventable death; 7-oz limit

Insanity: “If this is about freedom, it’s about the freedom of marketers to sell vectors of disease; we should all be in favor of restricting that freedom.”

Laugh more at Mark Bittman.

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17 responses to “NYTimes Food Nanny: Soda a ‘disease vector’; Next to tobacco as largest cause of preventable death; 7-oz limit

  1. I have no doubt that too much sugar and starchy vegetables can cause metabolic syndrome and this is indeed a health problem. Nor do I doubt that smoking cigarettes is bad for you. However, people in this country have rights and among them are to chose to eat sugar and smoke cigarettes. This may impose a social cost on us all, but that’s just part of the price of freedom. We could do with sugary drinks what we’ve done with cigarettes, namely engage in public health propaganda, tax policy changes, social pressure. I have no problem with that.

    One problem remains and that is that often enough what everyone knows is bad (or good) turns out not to be. I remember when we were all supposed to eat margarine (not butter), when salt was supposed to be bad for you, that exercise helps you lose weight, and a host of other things where ‘what was known’ turned out to be ‘wrong’ or ‘only sometimes right.’ Experts are never in doubt but often wrong, especially about matter human, and double double about diet.

    • “I have no doubt that too much sugar and starchy vegetables can cause metabolic syndrome and this is indeed a health problem.”

      Your belief doesn’t make it true.

      • Back at you. Your [implied] skepticism doesn’t make it false.

        I am 67 years old and after reading Gary Taubes “Why We Get Fat” (ans: carbs) I went on a low/no carb diet in September of last year. I have lost 55 lbs and never had a hunger problem. My HDL is up 25%, my triglicerides are down 50%, and my insulin levels are down 50%.

        The proximate cause of this effort was a high CT calcium score test (high plaque). I am following Dr Davis’ Track your Plaque program which is both a weight loss program plus supplements such as Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil), Vit D3, healthy thyroid maintenance. This September (1 year later) I will get another calcium score test and see, but in the interim, I’m down 55 lbs with 20 more to go. We’ll see.

        • “A plague on both your houses…” But no, of course not.
          I’m 56, 5’9″, weigh around 170. I gained about 15lbs after I turned 40 and went from running for 30min 4x/week to walking about 20 min nearly every day. I quit running because of knee trouble, as many runners must.
          If I lost 75 pounds, as DR is working on, I’d slip down the shower drain. But I’ve noticed a slight thickening around my waist that both offends my vanity and warns me, so I’m increasing my exercise and cutting back a bit — on carbs, because that’s most of my diet. Carbs have been predominant in my diet most of my life, though, so they seem affect me differently than they do DR. Gamecock may have a different response than DR or me.
          By whatever combination of evolution and miracle, humans are widely adaptable creatures. Evolution suggests that a range of metabolic responses would make the species more adaptable to more foods. Thus the Paleo diet may be DR’s great tool but not mine. (I actually kinda like some of the Paleo diet.)

        • Nice anecdote.

        • You keep touting Taube$ book. Here’s what Dr. Yoni Freedhoff thinks of it:

          http://www.weightymatters.ca/2011/01/book-review-gary-taubes-why-we-get-fat.html

          Hint: it’s commercial crap.

          • I read Yoni’s critique. Yes, it’s total crap.

            He seems in the first 2 paragraphs to be in total agreement with Taubes. And that’s all that matters. I’ve followed Taubes’ advice, lost 55 lbs, improved my blood chemistry. I’m not going to take your skepticism over my dietary and health success. Sorry.

            If you want to lose weight, follow Taubes’ advice. That’s my advice and it has worked for me.

        • Here’s what the American Heart Association thinks of your diet:

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11591629

          • Next you’ll be quoting the IPCC on climate, no? Check out the A to Z study (google it). The Atkins diet works. The others don’t. The reason is simple: on Atkins-like diets,one isn’t hungry all the time.

            The link you provided is all blather. I’ve lost 55 pounds. It ain’t “all water.” The worst nightmare of the AMA and the AHA is that Atkins was right all along and they weren’t. It essentially admits that my kind of diet works, claims without support that the biochemisty of such diets is misinterpreted, and recommends against it because you don’t get enough nutrients (which to my knowledge would only require a vitamin pill and possibly some vitamin C).

            It is just an inconvenient truth that my experience contradicts the nay saying. I’ve actually lost a lot of weight and my blood chemistry has improved. And by the way I don’t particularly care if the improvement is from losing the weight. You guys can pooh-pooh all you like…. and stay fat.

  2. the only disease vector I can think of to restrict or ban is the Treason Times, it breeds insanity in those who read it

  3. So long as government controls the cost, access to, and provisioning of healthcare, government will assert a right and exercise the authority to tell us what we may eat and drink, in what quantities and with what frequencies; what activities we may engage in (since some might be unhealthful); etc., in much the same way parents assert such a right and exercise such authority over their children. Since the parents foot the bill, they rightly have the control.

    So, if we truly value our liberties, Obamacare must go.

  4. “The argument that preventing us from buying 32 ounces of liquid candy in one container somehow restricts our “liberties” can be seriously made only by those who would allow marketing of tobacco to children.”
    Ayn Rand in “Atlas Shrugged” identifies the moochers and looters. She misses the chance to identify the nannies or scolds and this writer is clearly in that category.
    How many writers like this also advocate (as I do) for legalizing drug use? To retain the right of all adults to choose their own sex lives? And if they advocate that way, as I do, are they as queasy about some of those choices as I am? Or do they advocate only the choices they want to have, and argue against my range of choices? That’s the test of who supports liberty — will I support the choices I don’t want to make myself?
    Poor choices about sex surely put more burden on society than do poor diet choices — yet when Nanny Bloomberg finally said something about that, these are the kinds of people who jumped on him.

  5. Notice how they carefully avoid illegal and dangerous drugs. Drugs and drug wars are killing 2-5 people a week in Chicago alone and many of them are innocent bystanders, collateral damage. Can’t tarnish the reputation of the Mexican drug cartels, might look bad for the administration.

  6. GoneWithTheWind

    If you have metabolic syndrome or more correctly diabetes then diet can help you control the symptoms and mitgate some of the long term effects of it. But if you do not have diabetes sugar or carbs won’t give it to you. One of the mysteries of life is how someone can look at this situation and fail to see that 80% of the population are not obese, have diabetes or metabolic syndrome and yet we all eat the same things. How would you explain that if sugar or carbs are so deadly? Anyone who has a disease that can be helped by diet should by all means follow their doctors advice and diet recommendations. But do not conflate those diet recommendations to imply that a disease can be prevented in a healthy peson by following such a diet.

    • Sort of like “70% of women don’t get enough magnesium nonsentrate in their antiperspirant!” If 70% are not (or are) geting what the commercial is going on about, and the bodies are not piling up like cordwood, then chances are it doesn’t mean what they say it means.
      Food management can certainly help weight management, but I’m endlessly amused at the advertisements that tell us how “Cindy lost seven pounds in six weeks!” in letters that take up half the screen, and then the tiny, low-contrast footnote says, “Results not typical.”

    • Just to be fair, 80% of those who smoke cigarettes (or some such) don’t get cancer either.

    • davidrussell22

      To post this on a skeptical site is quite bold. You don’t know what “everyone eats” (neither do I). You don’ t know that sugar doesn’t give people diabetes (or that it doesn’t). You don’t know that 80% of the population isn’t obese (probably because there are at least 3 different definitions of obesity: weight/sex/height, BMI, and abdominal girth to chest girth — but also because these statistics are hard to come by — how fat is too fat?).

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