Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sweet Nothings

So here is a news story from what I would guess would be considered a “reliable” source (Reuters):

Study links sugary soft drinks to pancreas cancer

The conclusions from the article are right upfront:

* Regular soda drinkers had 87 percent higher risk
* Theory is that sugar fuels tumors

The substance behind the conclusions starts with:

WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - People who drink two or more sweetened soft drinks a week have a much higher risk of pancreatic cancer, an unusual but deadly cancer, researchers reported on Monday.


"The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth," Pereira said in a statement.

And finally, in conclusion:

One 12-ounce (355 ml) can of non-diet soda contains about 130 calories, almost all of them from sugar.

The rest of the article was filler material (both literally and figuratively), but please feel free to read it if you like; it’s not very long.

I counted the word “sugar” used a total of 6 times in the article (if you include the title), and although the article does not claim that the conclusions of the study are definitive, it certainly implies that “sugar” should be considered a dangerous substance.

But here's the funny thing:
Soft drinks do not contain sugar.

Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself. Read the label.

With very few exceptions - and I mean very few - regular soft drinks are sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) - not sugar - and diet soft drinks, of course, use aspartame almost exclusively.

Interesting that they didn't mention that. Just an oversight perhaps?

I’m no detective, but I’m a little hard-pressed to understand how sugar can be blamed as the villain when it wasn’t even at the scene of the crime.


BegFookinScottishMatthew said...

makes me wonder if the group sponsoring that study is the one behind those ridiculous sweetscam.com commercials. They are campaigning that HFCS is perfectly fine to have in 99% of what we consume.

Blaine Staat said...

And no wonder; HFCS is already in about 99% of what we consume. Finding something to eat without HFCS is as difficult as trying to find a toy not made in China. Near impossible.

Mrs.Vicki said...

I saw on the shelf Pepsi and Mountain-Du made with real sugar the old fashion way. They say its out for a limited time. Haven't tried it yet though. Have you?

Blaine Staat said...

Hi Vicki, actually, yes. My son got a 12-pack of the "old" Mountain Dew last week. My guess is that they're "testing the waters" and if they see a demand for it, they might continue to make it. It's still not something you want to drink in excess, but it's nice to have options. :-)

MrsMamaHen said...

I've seen the classic "dew" twice recently. The first time I bought it.....and WOW was that stuff sweet! I didn't buy it the second time I saw it, simply because we don't drink much soda at all around here. But that stuff sold very quickly at the store it was in.

And talk about HFCS - it's even in most breads that you buy! Now, I generally bake all my bread, but I still buy some things (bagels and such) - though I'm trying to master all the bread making skills I need so I can eliminate those store-bought ones as well.

And speaking of Aspertame, and HFCS - a friend sent me an article, stating that in the ingredient lists, these things are now being labled differently. I would have to look up the aspertame one, but I know the HFCS is now being labeled "crystalized corn" - isn't that lovely?

MrsMamaHen said...

Oh - I remember now! Aspartame = "AminoSweet"

Almost makes it sound like a protein or something.

Rose said...

Hi Blaine,

We are reading about this study over here in Australia. It's laughable isn't it?

I'd be grateful if you'd let Cat know that I checked in here, I would love to hear from her. rosmar@1earth.net