Shooting a hole through the sugar industry's campaign against Splenda
With all the negative reaction about the low-carb lifestyle this past week following the announcement by Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. that they are declaring bankruptcy, I had to put my comments about a story I found in the Sacramento Bee last Sunday on hold. But the subject matter and information contained in this article is just too important to ignore for long.
As you know, I have been very suspicious of the obvious connection between the sugar industry and the attacks against the artificial sweetener Splenda. Since Splenda is preferred by so many of us who are livin' la vida low-carb, we have a vested interest in helping to expose this sinister behind-the-scenes campaign sugar advocates are undertaking. In fact, I posted this timeline last month that shows what they have been doing since December 2004.
The Sacramento Bee story helps define even further the battle lines that have been drawn in this public debate between sugar and Splenda.
Describing the actions of the U.S. Sugar Association this year as having a "bitter edge," the story said the sugar industry has been a heavy aggressor against any and all competition. It seems declining sales and warnings from various consumer groups about the dangers of high sugar consumption has put the sugar industry back on its heels causing them to launch a new public relations campaign touting the alleged health benefits of eating sugar.
The $3 million "warm and fuzzy ad campaign" which released to targeted urban markets in May has sought to rebuild sugar's image among consumers even as more and more evidence comes forward linking sugar to the obesity epidemic.
A spokeswoman for the Sugar Association said: "We decided we really needed to get our message out ... Sugar is not the enemy that everyone has made it out to be."
Oh really. Research conducted by noted nutrition and health expert Dr. Ron Rosedale found that sugar is much more likely to be the culprit in causing heart disease than even cholesterol or fat! For people who are watching their carbohydrate intake, sugar is public enemy #1 because it is nothing but pure carbs.
While the Sugar Association claims on its web site that "all-natural" sugar is healthy because it has "just 15 calories" per teaspoon, that same amount of sugar has 5 carbs. That may not sound like much, but think about how much sugar you put in your coffee. Did you realize that most can sodas contain the equivalent of nearly 10 teaspoons of sugars in them sweetened with the evil first cousin of sugar known as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
As you can see, it doesn't take long for those carbohydrates to stack up and become a problem for people attempting to control their weight. The sugar industry is trying to market their product as a natural and healthy food to consume, but they are just being dishonest about the effect it can and will have on people who are addicted to sugar. This is why I have become so actively involved in this debate and will continue to voice my concerns about the lies the sugar industry are saying about sugar and about their primary competition, Splenda.
The co-founder of a nonprofit public watchdog group called Commercial Alert says the sugar lobby is very "powerful" and seems to "care only about the health of their bottom line, not the health of Americans."
That's what this is really all about. They are really feeling the heat of slowing sugar sales attributed to not only the low-carb diets, but also people realizing just how unhealthy eating large amounts of sugar is to their body. While low-carb may be considered dead by the media and healthy experts after the news that came out this week, it's certainly difficult to ignore the impact the low-carb lifestyle has had on our culture and how it views sugar now.
That's a VERY good thing that is causing more and more food companies to come up with new sugar-free and/or low-sugar versions of their products to meet the consumer demand. Do you want to know what's funny about this? If you are eating sugar-free products, then most of them are going to be low-carb as well. That is the irony in this whole debate about the demise of low-carb. It's not going anywhere. It's just morphing into another name. But a rose is a rose is a rose...
Strong competition from delicious-tasting artificial sweeteners such as Splenda has caused the sugar industry to panic in the past couple of years. That's why they decided to sue the manufacturers of Splenda in federal district court for alleged false advertising in December 2004 (they really didn't like Splenda's slogan "Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar"). Counsel for the Sugar Association said the marketing campaign by Splenda was "misleading." In response to the lawsuit against them, the makers of Splenda filed a countersuit against the Sugar Association for setting up a web site designed to damage the public image of their brand. This is a contentious fight to say the very least.
I devote an entire chapter in my upcoming book to the subject of sugar and its effect on your health. Anybody who tries to tell you that eating sugar is healthy is trying to pull the wool over your eyes and does not have the interest of your health in mind. There is no reason for me to push this issue so hard other than my sincere and earnest concern for the physical well-being of others who are like I was before I started livin' la vida low-carb. Unlike sugar advocates who stand to profit from the continued sale of sugary products, all I have is the satisfaction of sharing with people how cutting sugar out of my diet has restored my health and rescued me from disease and quite possibly an early grave.
The end of the story cites an upcoming movie called Sugar Kings featuring Hollywood actress Jodie Foster as director and possible starring role. The Universal Pictures movie based on this article that appeared in Vanity Fair is expected to be critical of the sugar industry's treatment of migrant workers.
The poor little sugar industry is feeling so beat up these days. Awww. How can we be so critical of something that tastes so sweet and is as all-American and innocent as apple pie, baseball, and grandma? Why? Because those of us who have struggled with our weight year after year for the majority of our lives know the stronghold this substance has on us physically and even emotionally. Eliminating sugar from my life has been the best thing I could have ever done to get my weight under control and to transform my body into the healthy existence it is in today. This might just explain why there was such an all-out war against low-carb this week. Do you think the Sugar Association has enough influence in the media to make that happen? I think you know the answer to that question. The great sugar debate of 2005 rages on...