Monday, 22 April 2013

Sweet Dangers.


            Today’s blog subject is at the request of my girlfriend, following a recent conversation we had.

            About a year ago, when I decided to exercise more and eat a bit more wisely, the BBC screens a program called “The Men Who Made Us Fat”. One statement that struck me was that sodas were the single biggest contributor of calories in the American diet. This is quite staggering given the average American takes in quite a few calories.

 
            Doing a little research I discovered that a can of coke or similar has the equivalent of eleven cubes of sugar in it. A friend of mine was drinking a bottle of iced tea so I looked at the ingredients. Seventeen grams of carbohydrate in 500mls, and nearly all of that would be sugar. These are not the only culprits, of course. Most of us consider fruit juices to be a healthy option, but they too include considerable quantities of sugars. What is a considerable concern with sweet drinks is that you are taking in calories without any bulk to make you feel sated.

            Knowing the above has not made me swear off sodas etc for the rest of my life, and I don’t expect you to either. What it has done is that I have greatly reduced my intake, and if truth is told I don’t really miss them as much as you might expect.

            On one blog I viewed the author pointed out that if he drank six cans of soda a day he was consuming his entire weight in sugar every year. What I find interesting about this statement is that it never occurs to him that six cans of drink a day might be in anyway excessive. In the BBC program mentioned earlier the presenter buys a “Double Gulp”, which is a 64 fl oz cup of soda. Let us conduct a short thought experiment:-

            You come across a friend or colleague drinking from an entire jug of water. The chances are this would concern you and you might suggest they need to see a doctor. Suppose your friend is drinking a bucket of coffee with 50 cubes of sugar in it. That would certainly concern you. Yet if you come across someone drinking a Double Gulp, your only observation might be that they must be thirsty. Interesting?

            I have to admit to a certain dark admiration to the recent adverts for a certain soft drink that claims their product has 140 “Happy” calories that can be used to do fun things. A piece of population perception manipulation at its finest!

 
            By no means am I saying give up drinking soda. I don’t intend to. Make them an occasional treat, as I do. If you cannot, at least be aware how many calories you are taking in through this medium and adjust your intake of other calories accordingly. Try cutting down, and you might find you need them less than you thought.