Crazy: Salon article calls ‘Big Soda’ a ‘mass killer’

Salon also hits soda makers for defending themselves from junk science.

Read more at Salon.

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8 responses to “Crazy: Salon article calls ‘Big Soda’ a ‘mass killer’

  1. GoneWithTheWind

    I’m thinking this is a covert effort to tax sugar. The cigarette taxes are HUGE and politicians would absolutely cry if people stopped smoking. So I’m thinking politicians are positioning the sugar arguement to be more like the tobacco one and thus the ONLY solution is to tax it as a punishment don’tcha know to discourage use of this deadly habit forming substance.

    • Covert? I’d say it was pretty much in the open.
      I’m going to add “Big (xx)” to my list of phrases that automatically discount an argument or a position. Others are “green (xx)”, “all-natural”, “…if it saves one life…”, “out of (state, country, town) interests”, and the ultimate, “for the children.”

  2. Steve Milloy’s comment above is incorrect. Indeed it’s almost libelous. What the article says is that 180,000 deaths may be linked to over consumption of sugary drinks.

    There are reasons to be skeptical and reasons to be concerned. 2 claims reasons to be skeptical are: 1) the study is not peer-reviewed; and 2) the methodology is not explained. On the other hand, it is a Harvard study which lends it some credibility.

    There seems to me to be increasing concern from several quarters about the negative health impact of excessive (whatever that means) sugar consumption. Given the epidemic of obesity and the many concomitant health complications suspected therefrom, it seems a good us of public funds to investigate this issue thoroughly. Can we agree on that, at least?

  3. The headline on the article is “Big Soda–We’re not Mass Killers”.

    The total numbers of death in the USA was 25,000 (estimated). The CDC page lists the number of deaths in the USA in 2010 as approximately 2,500,000. So the whole row over this concerns .01% of the deaths in the USA.

    Can we agree this is much ado over virtually nothing?

    • Howdy RC
      2,5000,000/25,000 = 100, implying that “Big Soda” contributes to 1%, not .01%, of deaths. That would be 3X homicides and about 40% of traffic deaths, so it would be significant if it were true.
      Howdy DR22
      The “obesity epidemic” probably means much less than you seem to ascribe to it. There’s no clear medical definition of “obese” based on health outcomes, but the usual BMI cutoffs have been changed several times and they occur at a point where a small change will change the people who are or are not “obese” quite a bit. The elements that contribute to high BMI and higher body fat are poorly understood at best. We just don’t know what role sugar or carbs play except that it’s probably small, based on how people have eaten in recorded history.
      You and I have exchanged ideas on this topic before. You should certainly experiment to see what diet and exercise habits work well for you. They may or may not be best for someone else. I’ve seen many diet plans offer a lot of promises and so have you; none have consistently worked for a wide range of people.

      • You’re correct — 1%. However, that puts it at the 11th or 12th rank cause of death, and technically there is no “death by sugar” diagnosis. It’s an inference. As you noted in the second part of your comment.
        If we are to decrease health costs, it would make more sense to outlaw smoking, chemicals, and whatever we find causes Alzheimer’s first. Heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s are far higher in actual death counts. Get rid of the burger places, fried twinkies, etc before hitting the soda. It’s more cost efficient to start at the top and work down, I think.

      • I am curious why you consider the cause of 1% of death to be significant and in what way. I guess I’m thinking we probably should be more concerned about ones with higher percentages, though knowing what causes a death is good. What do mean by “significant”?

  4. GoneWithTheWind

    I truely wish it were that simple. Get rid of burgers and fries and we all live to be 100. What a great fantasy. But the truth is we have more burger and fry joints every year and every year our life expectancy goes up. Hmmmm! perhaps life isn’t as simple as we wish it were. Heart disease is “mostly” genetic and the deaths caused by Alzheimers is very low. I think what you are caught up in is that Alzheimers is diagnosed more today and of course (as we all will) they die with it since it cannot be cured. But that is died with it not from it. Probably Alzheimers will one day be determined to be genetic as well. It is more common today because we live longer and it is a disease of old age.

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