If you are one of the millions of Americans who is trying to lose weight, you’ve probably heard that it is all about calories. But what do those calories actually mean? How much of a certain food is too much? Is there a safe level?
Twinkies are gaining popularity again, and rightfully so. They’re the perfect power snack, and just the right size for a quick, satisfying meal. Unfortunately, the price of a Twinkie is also a perfect indicator for what Big Soda is trying to do: mask the fact that its product is made with as many chemicals as possible, which in turn puts us at greater risk for health problems over time.
The early 1970s were a major turning point in the history of the modern food industry, as the oil crisis and the US government’s decision to stop subsidising its farmers and manufacturers sent the price of sugar skyrocketing. The resulting shift in demand led to the rapid expansion of the energy-dense snacks industry, and the company that would become Big Soda now has a lock on the US sweets market. Big Soda has also become adept at duping the public into believing that its products are all about health, as a report released this month by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) revealed.
Coca-Cola is a big proponent of the CICO (Calories In/Calories Out) concept. It accounts for a large part of the added sugars in the American diet as one of the main producers of sugar-sweetened drinks.
Are you familiar with the tale of the Twinkie diet? Mark Haub, a researcher at Kansas State University, gained attention as a Twinkie diet adherent in 2010. Haub ate a Twinkie every three hours instead of a normal meal for ten weeks. Doritos, Oreo cookies, and sugary cereal were all among his favorites. The caveat was that he could only consume 1800 calories each day from some of the world’s fattiest meals.
He dropped 27 pounds in those two months, and his LDL cholesterol and triglycerides also improved. Every major news organization, including CNN, picked up on this. This lent credence to the idea that it was all about the calories. You could eat anything you wanted as long as your calorie intake was low enough to lose weight.
The unspoken caveat
There was just one element that this tale lacked. There is one notable absence. Coca-Cola compensated him. Coke published a list of researchers who accepted money in 2016, in response to increasing concerns over openness.
Mark Haub was one of the researchers who relied on Coke’s big resources to help him and his children pay for education. What do you mean, chump change? Hardly. These ‘health professionals and scientific specialists’ cost Coke a total of $2.3 million. The experts ‘state their own opinions and declare their connection with The Coca-Cola Company,’ according to the press release.
They don’t, though. I have yet to see any video in which the nefarious Mark Haub admits to taking money from Coke. For the sake of a little bucks, he is prepared to put your health at risk. He isn’t proud of it, however. As a result, he never mentions it in the hundreds of media interviews and stories about his Twinkie diet. In academic settings, lying under oath is equivalent to misrepresenting your source of support, which has serious consequences for findings. “Coca-Cola pays a guy to do an unsupervised, unverified study and claims to lose weight eating Twinkies,” as the original story put it, sounded a lot better.
He was only exposed as a result of the University of Colorado’s Global Energy Balance’s poor behavior. What occurred there, exactly? Coca-Cola, on the other hand, donated millions of dollars to a phony organization called the Global Energy Balance Network, which was established up by the University and physicians. It would be regarded more seriously than, example, a network named “The Coca-Cola Consortium on Why Soda Doesn’t Make You Fat” if it had academic backing and was “chaired” by physicians.
Coke was attempting to establish a puppet organization through which they could conduct “research” that “confirmed” that sugar and soda do not cause obesity. They carefully concealed their identity behind the institution and the physicians, who were undoubtedly handsomely compensated for their efforts.
Coca-impact Cola’s is immeasurable. They even have the ability to influence Hillary Clinton, allowing them to achieve levels of power previously unattainable by ordinary humans. Unfortunately, they simply utilize their power to earn more money and sell more sugar water. What is the nation’s state of health? What does it matter? Right now, soda taxes are all the rage.
Hillary Clinton was a strong supporter in April 2016 until she mysteriously disappeared. There will be no more bluster in favor of the soda tax. According to leaked emails, a Coca-Cola executive responded to Capricia Marshall (Clinton’s special assistant when she was First Lady) on April 20: “Really???” “After all we’ve done?” Yes, Coke predicted that the Clinton campaign would fold like a battered dog. That is precisely what they did. They had been bought and paid for, and they were well aware of it.
Everything is blamed on calories
Finding an appropriate scapegoat is the first step in deflecting blame. So, if sugar and soda aren’t to blame for obesity, what else might it be? Calories are the most straightforward goal. If total calories are the only factor, then eating salad and drinking Coke are both fattening, as long as the total calories are the same.
So, theoretically, you could have a platter of cookies for supper or a salad with olive oil and salmon with a same amount of calories, and both would cause obesity. Except that common sense tells you that eating cookies every night for supper would make you fat, whereas eating salad every night will make you thin.
Calories, on the other hand, make an excellent scapegoat. There is no such thing as a ‘calories’ brand. The trademark ‘calories’ is owned by no one. Calories are not a kind of food. They have no means of defending themselves.
The second step is to promote exercise as a healthy method to lose weight. This is an effective method of putting the responsibility on the victims. It is now YOUR responsibility, not Coke’s, if you are overweight. The issue isn’t all the sugar you’ve been consuming; the issue is that you’re not getting enough exercise. Of course, no one ever exercised for pleasure in the 1950s, and there was no obesity. People also spend the most of their days working at their desks.
Coke moved into damage control mode when the antics at the Global Energy Balance were exposed. Dr. Hill claimed that Coke had no effect on his scientific views, despite the fact that he had been eagerly taking the money. Dr. Willett of Harvard University sent a letter accusing him of promoting “scientific rubbish.” This was obviously nonsense, and it was called out by his colleagues. Of course, it was all a load of rubbish. It was, however, profitable nonsense.
Coke was also actively engaged in the organization, according to a series of emails acquired by the Associated Press, including selecting the group’s leaders, writing the mission statement, and designing the logo. Dr. Hill reportedly suggested a research to “help Coca-Cola concentrate the blame for obesity on a lack of exercise and encouraged the corporation to pay for it,” according to the New York Times. Dr. Hill, you’ve done a great job. You already know the outcome of your research before you started it?
Coca-Cola improved the openness of their financing and released a comprehensive list of where they were giving funds as a result of the repercussions. It isn’t a case of altruism. It’s all about sponsorship. It’s that easy. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which represents American dieticians, was owed millions of dollars. Mark Haub, too, was eventually revealed as a liar after all these years.
Anahad O’Connor published an article for the New York Times a few days ago that clarified the contradictory research on the connection between sugar sweetened drinks (SSB) and obesity and type 2 diabetes. Many research have been produced throughout the years, some connecting SSB to it and others rejecting it. What was the distinction? A soda corporation, such as Coca-Cola, sponsored every research that refuted the connection. Shocker…
Make no doubt about it. Big Soda’s game plan includes continuing to deceive the public into believing that all calories are equally fattening. They’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars and decades doing so. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie is a calorie is a calorie is Sure. That, however, is not my point. Is it true that all calories are equally fattening? Will eating cookies every day cause you to acquire the same amount of weight as eating a salad? This can only be believed by an idiot.
Jason Fung, Ph.D.
Low-calorie sweeteners are a high-stakes game. The soda industry has no interest in lowering the calories in its products, and Big Soda has made a big bet that it is all about calories, which is to say that its products are supposed to be something other than “food.” It is difficult to imagine a more misleading message, and one designed to get us to eat more “food.”. Read more about calorie counting junk food and let us know what you think. You should focus on eating vegetables and fruits, as well as protein.
Frequently Asked Questions
How did Mark lose weight while eating a Twinkie based diet?
Mark lost weight by not eating anything.
What is the best strategy for losing weight?
The best strategy for losing weight is to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
What should I focus on eating to lose weight?
You should focus on eating vegetables and fruits, as well as protein.