Ah Sugar Sugar!

Lots of people have weird ideas about food. And that includes weird ideas about sugar. Some people seem to think that white sugar isn’t as, I dunno, not as groovy, somehow, as other kinds of sugar because it’s more “refined” (though I’ll bet you a dozen honey-glazed donuts that 9 out of 10 people can’t tell you what “refined” really means in this context). And when people have weird ideas about food, the food marketers of the world are not exactly predisposed to offering clear, unbiased corrective information on the topic.

From the NY Times: Sugar Is Back on Food Labels, This Time as a Selling Point

Sugar, the nutritional pariah that dentists and dietitians have long reviled, is enjoying a second act, dressed up as a natural, healthful ingredient.
From the tomato sauce on a Pizza Hut pie called “The Natural,” to the just-released soda Pepsi Natural, some of the biggest players in the American food business have started, in the last few months, replacing high-fructose corn syrup with old-fashioned sugar.

The trouble? It’s a sham.

Though research is still under way, many nutrition and obesity experts say sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are equally bad in excess. But, as is often the case with competing food claims, the battle is as much about marketing as it is about science.

“As much?” No, it’s arguably far more about marketing. As far as I can tell, the battle between sugar and HFCS has a lot in common with the battle between Coke and Pepsi, or between Marlboro and Camel. Choose your poison.

2 comments so far

  1. Sharon WIlson on

    Wow, natural is the new key word for foods these days.

  2. […] I’m not entirely convinced yet (as a non-expert) that the health difference between fructose and sucrose is critical. After all, the science reported here is pretty preliminary. Perhaps more importantly, both fructose and sucrose are pretty bad for you, so it may be a matter of splitting hairs to worry about which is worse. The point is you should eat less of both. (See my blog entry about this from last year: Ah Sugar Sugar!) […]


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