Fact or Retract

By Dean L. Jones, CPM

The middle decades of the 20th century spewed a lot of product advertisements, particularly claims about nutrition.  But most of the information shared was pure hype simply to sell more products.  In 1943, the Sugar Association was formed by prominent sugar industry businessmen.  This group started with two divisions where one focused on public education and communication called Sugar Information, Inc. and the other was its Sugar Research Foundation that studied processed sugar’s role in food.

The Sugar Association is still working and striving to convince health professionals, media, government officials and the public about sugar’s goodness.  Sadly, this group bears no responsibility for the mess people are in today regarding a lack of understanding and an unwillingness to see the dangers of eating too much processed sugar.  The Sugar Association ran countless advertisements that are now viewed as preposterous due to their outlandish claims that were designed to persuade the public to eat more processed sugar.

For example, the Sugar Association produced a black and white print ad that read: “Have a soft drink before your main meal.  We know it sounds odd—but it can work.  Spoil your appetite by eating something with sugar.  Sugar works faster than any other food to turn your appetite down, your energy up.  Then when mealtime comes, you’re less apt to overeat.  Willpower never tasted so good.  Sugar… only 18 calories per teaspoon, and it’s all energy.”  Here is another black and white that read: “Snack on some candy about an hour before lunch.  Surprise!  Sugar isn’t a bad guy.  The sugar a soft drink or ice cream cone, shortly before mealtime, turns into energy fast.  And that energy could be just the energy you need to say ‘no’ to those extra helpings at mealtime.  That’s why sugar is a good guy.  Surprise!  Sugar… only 18 calories per teaspoon, and it’s all energy.”

Naturally, the C & H Pure Cane Sugar Company is still making false claims.  Their web site reads: “…obesity is the result of eating too much food, especially those with high-caloric content.  It’s easy to point a finger at sugar as the reason for obesity. Science, however, doesn’t support that view.’”  C & H should read a little more where science explicitly supports the view that eating processed sugar does promote weight gain.

Science is able to detail how when you eat sugary-filled foods excessively, the pancreas organ must produce a large amount of insulin at once, prompting your body to start storing fat.  The insulin surge then causes your blood sugar levels to drop quickly, leaving you feeling tired and hungry again.  Sugar negatively changes the body’s behavior, sort of like how excessively drinking alcohol can cause one to lose their job, where the job lose resulted from the effects that alcohol produced and not alcohol itself.

Dean Jones, Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributes his view on health attributes of packaged foods & beverages.

Author: spirit