Coke Keeps You Thin
(Sugar Is Not Fattening)
A Randomized Trial of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Adolescent Body Weight by Cara B. Ebbeling, in the October 11, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, found that “Among overweight and obese adolescents, the increase in BMI was smaller in the experimental group than in the control group after a 1-year intervention designed to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, but not at the 2-year follow-up (the pre-specified primary outcome).”1 A group of 224 adolescents (124 boys and 100 girls) who reported consuming at least one serving (12 oz.) per day of sugar-sweetened beverages or 100% fruit juice were enrolled. The 1-year intervention consisted of home delivery of non-caloric beverages (e.g., bottled water and “diet” beverages) every 2 weeks, monthly motivational telephone calls with parents (30 minutes per call), and three check-in visits with participants (20 minutes per visit). The authors’ conclusion: “…replacement of sugar-sweetened beverages with non-caloric beverages did not improve body weight over a 2-year period…”
Comment: Laying the blame for obesity on sugar is the latest diversion used by agribusinesses to keep you consuming large quantities of meat and dairy products and oil-laden processed foods. Please do not misunderstand me: I am not saying sugar is health food, but that it is not the primary cause of our national epidemic of obesity. Nor should removal of simple sugars be looked to as the primary solution.
Refined sugar is “empty calories,” which can lead to nutritional imbalances. Simple sugars cause tooth decay, and in sensitive people, can cause a rise in blood fats (triglycerides). Confusion from past research tying sugar to obesity comes from the fact that children who drink more sugar-sweetened beverages also tend to eat more fast food with meat, dairy, and oil (the real culprits) and watch more television (reflecting less physical activity).
Coke keeps you thin! (1961 Coke commercial)
This 1961 Coke commercial, “Coke keeps you thin!” has more much truth to it than the recent dairy campaign to consume milk products to lose weight, for 4 reasons:2
1) The fat you eat is the fat you wear. Milk is 50% fat, low-fat milk is 30% fat, and cheese is 70% fat. Fat is moved almost effortlessly from the glass to the gut. Coke has no fat to wear.
2) Sugar is converted to body fat only with great difficulty. The calories from Coke are 100% simple sugar. Excess sugar calories are not converted to body fat under usual conditions, but are wasted in physical activity and heat production.
3) Sugar is appetite satisfying. As Connie Clausen says in this Coke commercial, “The cold crisp taste of Coke is so satisfying it keeps me from eating something else that might really add those pounds.” (Appetite satisfaction is not provided by dietary fat. You eat fat as if you were a bottomless pit.)
4) Coke is low in calories compared to milk. One 8-ounce glass of Coke has 97 calories, compared to 146 calories in the same size glass of whole milk. More than half the calories in milk are from unsatisfying fats that are almost effortlessly stored in your body fat.
Besides calories, milk is loaded with allergy- and autoimmune disease-causing proteins, poisonous environmental chemicals, artery-clogging saturated fats and cholesterol, precocious puberty causing hormones, and infectious agents, such as leukemia viruses, mad cow prions, and listeria bacteria.
Yes, I am saying that drinking Coke is far less harmful to you and your children’s waistline and health than is drinking cow’s milk. The current campaign in America for solving poor health and obesity by exclusively focusing on sugar as the culprit is doing little or no good, and great damage. The really sickening and fattening foods—meat and dairy products and vegetable oils—are bypassed by making sugar the scapegoat.
1) Cara B. Ebbeling, Ph.D., Henry A. Feldman, Ph.D., Virginia R. Chomitz, Ph.D., Tracy A. Antonelli, M.P.H., Steven L. Gortmaker, Ph.D., Stavroula K. Osganian, M.D., Sc.D., and David S. Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D. A Randomized Trial of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Adolescent Body Weight. N Engl J Med 2012; 367:1407-1416