Eat Your Sugar

This sounds familiar, doesn’t it? We’ve read articles like this before? Only a few days ago in fact? The subject does seem to keep coming up. The Bush administration and profit-making entities on the one hand, and scientific advice and knowledge on the other. Bulldozers make better habitats than rivers do; wetlands pollute; academic scientists who receive grants should be kept off federal peer review panels while scientists with ties to profit-making entities should not. Day is night, up is down, black is red. Do we begin to detect a pattern here?

The President insists fighting fat is a matter for the individual, not the state. But today The Observer reveals how he and fellow senators have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from ‘Big Sugar’. One of his main fundraisers is sugar baron Jose ‘Pepe’ Fanjul, head of Florida Crystals, who has raised at least $100,000 for November’s presidential re-election campaign.

The individual, not the state. Right. And that means that the state must not interfere, even by so much as issuing reasonable dietary guidelines, with people who make money by selling sugar-added foods. It’s up to the individual to ignore all that advertising, have a little backbone, and just stay thin. Simple.

The Bush administration, which receives millions in funding from the sugar industry, argues there is little robust evidence to show that drinking sugary drinks or eating too much sugar is a direct cause of obesity. It particularly opposes a recommendation that just 10 per cent of people’s energy intake should come from added sugar. The US has a 25 per cent guideline.

25% added sugar – sure, that sounds about right. Could be worse. Could be 75% after all.

Too bad the spinach lobby isn’t as powerful as the sugar one. But I guess there just aren’t the bucks in spinach that there are in the sweet stuff.

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