As is my habit, I will often share with you interesting things I read in the realm of weight loss. Fortunately, my wife shares my interest and passed on a very interesting article from National Geographic on the connection between sugar and weight gain. I have touched on these subjects before. They are so important, I will certainly bring them up again. I highly encourage you to read my prior posts on sugar. They will open your eyes to many things I’m sure you didn’t know or had forgotten. For example, I have discussed the relationship between sugar and addiction (On Crack and Ice Cream Part 1 and Part 2). I have discussed the toxic effects of sugar (Is Sugar Toxic?). I have discussed the food industry and how it manipulates you into buying more sugar (Salt, Sugar and Fat). I have discussed why cutting sugar out in a low-carb diet is so effective (Maybe a Calorie Isn’t Just a Calorie). I even discussed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s attempted soft drink ban (Are You Pouring on the Pounds?). So I thought I had beaten this horse to death with a sugar cane but it turns out that there is so much more to learn. I figured this out in short order when the National Geographic article which briefly summarizes the history and medical effects of sugar. It is appropriately entitled “Sugar Love” and I strongly encourage you to read it (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/08/sugar/cohen-text). I thought I would highlight some quotes from the article to give you some of the most important points.
First, It was interesting to me how they connected eating sugar to not getting enough activity. This is an obvious association, but I think it is one about which most people don’t think. Here’s an excerpt:
“Americans are fat because they eat too much and exercise too little. But they eat too much and exercise too little because they’re addicted to sugar, which not only makes them fatter but, after the initial sugar rush, also saps their energy, beaching them on the couch. “The reason you’re watching TV is not because TV is so good,” he said, “but because you have no energy to exercise, because you’re eating too much sugar.”
The solution? Stop eating so much sugar. When people cut back, many of the ill effects disappear. The trouble is, in today’s world it’s extremely difficult to avoid sugar, which is one reason for the spike in consumption. Manufacturers use sugar to replace taste in foods bled of fat so that they seem more healthful, such as fat-free baked goods, which often contain large quantities of added sugar.
It’s a worst-case scenario: You sicken unto death not by eating foods you love, but by eating foods you hate—because you don’t want to sicken unto death.
I was also fascinated by their telling of the history of the sugar industry from discovery to mass production. It was especially interesting to me to see how the rise of the slave trade was fueled in large part by the rise of the desire for sugar. Since African-Americans have been hit especially hard by the obesity and diabetes epidemic in modern times, it is sadly interesting to see how sugar has been a torment to them throughout history. Here’s an interesting summary from the article:
Thus dawned the age of big sugar, of Caribbean islands and slave plantations, leading, in time, to great smoky refineries on the outskirts of glass cities, to mass consumption, fat kids, obese parents, and men in XXL tracksuits trundling along in electric carts.
Those were just some of the highlights. It is my strongest belief that the largest barrier preventing people from effectively losing weight is ignorance. So I strongly encourage you to read this article and my prior posts above so you won’t fall into the vicious cycles mentioned above. You cannot expect to act effectively if you are not armed with the knowledge necessary to succeed. So get crackin’ and start reading!