The Evils of Sugar? Or Just Another Scapegoat?

First there was Forks Over Knives, where the authors/ filmmakers try to convince us all to go vegetarian because it's so much better than a traditional diet of McDonalds and Twinkies. Something that should be a blatant false dichotomy, but based on some conversations I've had, apparently not.

So I'll just leave this good review right HERE that is less rage written than I would have done.

Now we have a new anti-some-food-group movie coming in through the pipe lines called FED UP. I see what you did there. We're all over FED, and now we're FED UP with it all.

Here is the trailer:



Let's go through some points I take issue with:

Calories don't matter

Thing is, they do. I'm currently convinced that people say that cutting calories doesn't work for them is because they either (1) go too low and end up having major binge sessions or (2) they aren't actually cutting their calories as much as they thing they are.

Several studies show that people are terrible at recounting and recording accurately how much they eat. Check out HERE, HERE, and HERE (video).

So people go on a low carb diet and are compared to a high carb diet. Low carb diets mean that they are eating a lot more fat and protein, which help them stay full longer, thereby decreasing their over all calorie consumption.

Calories do matter. For some people, going low carb is their way of controlling their overall calorie intake, and that's okay in my book. Break the cycle. Do what you need to do. But, going out and proselytizing that carbs are the enemy for everyone irregardless of situation isn't cool.

I'm not saying that lowering carbs is the end-all-be-all. Obviously all macros have a role in you achieving whatever your goals are.


Sugar is Addictive Like Cocaine

Here is the image they show in the trailer:


"Your brain lights up with sugar just like it does with cocaine or heroin. You're going to become an addict." Direct quote from the trailer why the above image is showing.

Of course there is no context to those images, because that would weaken their argument. What you're actually looking at is the pleasure center of the brain lighting up. It's the area with the highest density of dopamine receptors. It will light up in response to sex, too.


Here is a more complete picture. If you see on the right column, those that are addicted have less "hot" colors in the image, showing lower levels of dopamine receptors. These subjects will have to do more of their vice of choice to get the same level of satisfaction out of the experience. That's addiction. We're looking at a personality trait, some would say the effect of addiction as a disease, not something that sugar itself is instigating in you.

A recent study out of Edinburgh University says that the act of eating is what people can become addicted to. It's not the specific macro nutrient, but the act. And with fewer dopamine receptors, these people have to eat so much more to get the same satisfaction of a non-addict.


I think this shouldn't be a war on sugar. 

I was going to go on a tirade here about government subsidies, food company scientists, and social expectations about how "being too busy" to be active is a martyr badge of honor. Instead I'll end with these few points:

- I'd like to see a time when saying "I don't have time to workout" is as shameful as "I don't have time to shower/ brush my teeth."

- I'd like to see a time when government subsidies make meat and vegetables easier to afford rather than the sugar and corn used in processed foods.

- I'd like to see a time when people were taught from elementary school what a macronutrient is and what calories actually are.

- I'd like to see a shift from exercise and healthy eating as punitive, and rather as something we just do without thought.

I don't know what else to say now, my rage had dissipated.