Surgeon General’s Warning: Soda Is Bad For Your Health?

being a mets fan not good for your health eitherRC ColaDid you know soda was bad for you? The American Cancer Society thinks you might not. The Society’s Cancer Action Network sent a letter to the surgeon general asking for a “comprehensive” report on sodas. From the letter:

As was the case in 1964, when the Surgeon General first revealed to the broad American public the dangers of tobacco consumption, an unbiased and comprehensive report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages could have a major impact on the public’s consciousness and perhaps begin to change the direction of public behavior in their choices of food and drinks.

If we look back at the history of the nation, we know that the increasing incidence of obesity among the American public has overtaken us almost overnight.  There seems to be a consensus about the problem and the cause, but what is lacking is an articulate, science-based and comprehensive national plan of action.  We believe the combined resources and credibility of the Surgeon General could help us get there.

The American Cancer Society’s analogy to tobacco doesn’t really fly. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ad in my lifetime telling me 4 out of 5 doctors recommend Coca Cola, or that I should have a bottle of Mountain Dew to improve my immunity. The information about the health effects of soda is widely available. In fact, you can thank the federal government, and not corporations, for the prevalence of high fructose corn syrup over cane sugar in American soda. What would a “national plan of action” on soda look like? Like “Let’s Move!”? Or like a wet dream from Mayor Michael Bloomberg?  

Soda is available on the open market for those who want to buy it. The health risks are widely known and easy to find out. The American Cancer Society and other interested private parties likely already have the resources and infrastructure to run a marketing campaign if they feel not enough people are actually aware of the health risks of sodas; the instinct to involve government force is how we ended up with a federal government that spends nearly twice what it takes in. If, on the other hand, a “national plan of action” is envisioned to include more federal controls on soda, well then that, like all substance control policies by the government, creates health risks of its own. And if it’s just more agitation for a soda tax, well, that idea’s not so popular (even among the young, healthy and wealthy!), which might explain the appeal to authority via a “science-based” plan. Maybe they can add it to ObamaCare? For the childen.

Reason on food politics

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Holy shit, carbonated sugar water causes cancer now?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But what about blondes who are not wearing pants?

  • Lord Humungus||

    those are bad for the ol' ticker.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    But what about blondes who are not wearing pants?

    They too can be bad for you. As George Carlin said "blondes have more fun; they also have more STDs. Kinda goes with the territory."

  • Brett L||

    Tumescence may occur in males.

  • Brutus||

    If that lasts more than four hours, uh, call your doctor. Eventually. And don't tell the missus.

  • ||

    Don't tell her, show her.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Marry me.

  • Aresen||

    EVERYTHING causes cancer.

    This was established by 1970.

  • Mo' $parky||

    If you stay indoors and eat your gruel you might be safe. As long as you don't breathe the air that is.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    You mean your gruel made with CANCER CAUSING GMO WHEAT??!!!

  • Mo' $parky||

    NOOOOOOOOOO! Not my GMO wheat...

    *cry*

  • Killazontherun||

    I wonder if you force fed an American Cancer Society member four times its body weight in carbonated beverages every day for six weeks straight. it would develop cancer? Worth trying, I'm sure.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Soda Is Bad For Your Health

    But pop is OK, right?

  • Mo' $parky||

    Get outta here with your midwestern slang.

  • Lord Humungus||

    pop is better than "coke"?

    I mean you want to drink a 7-up and call it coke? Wtf.

  • Mo' $parky||

    Well, you'll never catch me calling it tawnic either like the nitwits over in Bahstin.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I hear that Bawstin accent and I want to start punching people.

  • SugarFree||

    Boston is the reason I don't tell many people I'm Irish.

  • ||

    I watched The Departed the night before having to go to Logan to pick someone up. Then, at the airport, a piece of shit Mass State Trooper with a full-blown super-Masshole accent gives me shit about where I had stopped momentarily to text the person I was picking up. After a whole 2.5 hours the night before of horrendous Masshole accents on Mass State Police shitheads, it was kind of surreal.

  • Restoras||

    I'll take a hard Bawstin accent over LongGisland any day.

  • carol||

    Down here ya'll all sound funny.

  • Brett L||

    True fact, the Coca-Cola company bribes everyone within 200 miles of ATL to use the word "coke" in place of carbonated sugary beverage.

  • soquoted||

    yep, each year I get a dozen Krispy Kreme, one call ahead reservation at Mary Mac's, and the secret confederate hand signal for half-off entry to Stone Mountain.

    It's nice, but not worth moving here for.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    Yeah, but I spent all mine at the coke machine buying Hawaiian Punch. :(

  • Killazontherun||

    That's just nonsense. RC, Pepsi and Coca-Cola are cokes. 7-Up is a soda. Learn that word, Midwesterner. Pronounced with the accent on the 'DA' sound.

  • Tman||

    we know that the increasing incidence of obesity among the American public has overtaken us almost overnight.

    What the fuck does that even mean? Did we all wake up one morning, look around and say "holy shit there are a lot fatties waddling around" all of a sudden?

    I don't get it.

  • Mo' $parky||

    Beat me to it.

  • Ed||

    It's science, duh.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    They said "almost" overnight. So it actually took, like, three days.

  • o3||

    fat know-nothings ignoring fatties.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The fatty apocalypse. At least most of them aren't walkers.

  • Loki||

    Yet. When the zombie apocalypse does hit, for obvious reasons, the fatties will be the first to go.

  • MJGreen||

    A "McDonald's", huh? Well I've never heard of it.

    Must've sprung up overnight.

  • ant1sthenes||

    That's what happened to me, but I moved from an SEC college campus to Ohio, so that doesn't really count.

  • Aresen||

    Jumping in front of a speeding bus is bad for your health.

    Since there are people who jump in front of buses, we obviously need a Jumping In Front of Frieghtliner Yellout plan.

  • ||

  • ||

    Why...what did...why?

  • Mo' $parky||

    More proof that college makes you dumb.

  • Loki||

    Clearly he was on BATH SALTZ. Which in addition to making you crave human flesh also grants +20 strength and +250 hit points.

  • Scarcity||

    How the fuck did he get up? I think Superman just accidentally revealed himself. As someone who likes to fight with foam swords.

  • sloopyinca||

    Thank God for the sickle cell.

    /Animal Mother

  • Brutus||

    Ow.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    So, cancer has been eradicated. And not having anything else to do, the ACS is looking for the next money train?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I see a turf war with the American Diabetes Association coming.

  • Mo' $parky||

    Cancer will never be cured so long as people are more concerned with how they look.

  • mr simple||

    You mean how smoking makes you look cool? I know it's a tragic catch 22.

  • Mo' $parky||

    I mean like how more money is spent on anti-aging R+D than anything else.

  • o3||

    so ex nihilo cant walk n chew gum at the same time?

  • sloopyinca||

    Well, you can't think and type at the same time.

  • Loki||

    Well, you can't think and type at the same time.

    FIFY

  • sloopyinca||

    Hey!

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    so ex nihilo cant walk n chew gum at the same time?

    Yep, and more than that too.

    But see, here is the deal; they are the American Cancer Society. People donate to them to find a cure for cancer, not obesity. So they need to stick to what people pay them to do and not worry about something outside of than focus. Understand now.

  • Translucent Chum||

    OT, but a hot topic lately -
    Police: Party-goer on her knees when officer's holstered gun went off.

    I'm not sure how a gun 'goes off'...

  • SugarFree||

    You me'd that link.

  • Translucent Chum||

  • Translucent Chum||

    No breath or tox tests for the cop, of course.

  • sloopyinca||

    FTA: The official said police did not give Parrish a Breathalyzer, but alcohol does not appear to be a factor. The source added there was no odor of intoxicants, the officer's speech was not slurred and he took a field sobriety test.

    According to department policy, "off-duty officers are prohibited by state law from carrying a firearm if their blood alcohol level is 0.02% or above."

    It's unclear whether Miller had been drinking when the shooting occurred about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

    Yeah, they couldn't take the 30 seconds it took to find out if he had any booze in his system, could it? If the victim was a cop and the person with the gun wasn't, you can bet your ass they would have blown or had blood drawn. And these "preliminary findings" that sound like a boilerplate press release wouldn't have been released so quickly.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The source added there was no odor of intoxicants

    The power of the cop schnozz strikes again!

  • sloopyinca||

    It is unconscionable that they would not make this guy blow as a matter of policy.

    What happens if two people at the party say they saw him take a drink? What happens if 5 people say it? 10? 20? At some point, the story is gonna unravel. If DPD is smart, they will stop the coverup and perform a legitimate investigation right away. Otherwise, this is gonna be bad, bad, bad.

  • Loki||

    off-duty officers are prohibited by state law from carrying a firearm if their blood alcohol level is 0.02% or above

    I'm pretty sure it's possible to pass a field sobriety test and not talk with slurred speech with a blood alcohol level that low. As for the lack of smell of "intoxicants", there's this thing called mouthwash.

  • mr simple||

    Absolutely, I've had many people tell me we've had long coherent conversations long after I stopped being able to see or remember.

  • R C Dean||

    Of course he was fucking drinking. He's at a party at 12:30 Saturday night.

    Fucking coverups and double-standards. C'mon, dunphy, tell me how this is exactly how the cops would have handled this if this guy was just a "citizen."

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Funny how this didn't come up before! But it's clear that she was on her knees, because that's where she needed to be in order to get shot where she was. That's just some fine police work. First rate deductive reasoning.

  • Loki||

    Is that some kind of euphamism?

  • sloopyinca||

    What the fuck is wrong with the 60's? Didn't ad men realize women had tits?

  • ||

    Somebody is unfamiliar with Russ Meyer.

  • Randian||

    The unseen, the hinted-at, the innuendo...these can all be significantly more erotic than a push-up tank top.

  • sloopyinca||

  • Elphie||

    Maybe it's because I'm a child of the 80's/90's and grew up on corn syrup-based sodas, but to me sugar-based sodas are the ones that taste weird and unnatural. Granted, my sugar-based soda experience is limited to Jones Soda, so there might be better brands out there. I should check one of the Hispanic grocery stores nearby and see if they have sugary Coke.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    Granted, my sugar-based soda experience is limited to Jones Soda, so there might be better brands out there.

    Mt. Dew makes them as well. They call them 'throwback' or some such.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Coke from Central America is the bomb. Literally, there's so much acid in those things you could make a bomb with it.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Start with any of these. The sugar content is way higher than any American soda. This stuff is delicious.

  • Ed||

    You gotta try the lime jarrito, its amazing

  • Elphie||

    Ahhh! Those look really familiar. I think they might have them at my local cheap ass supermarket. I'll give it a try, thanks.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Really? Sugar Coke rules. Even my kids agree, now that we occasionally can procure it at the grocery store.

  • Elphie||

    I think the Jones Soda tasted too sweet. I like a harsh, acidy taste to my soda. I will try Sugar Coke though.

  • SugarFree||

    The Jones Diet sodas all taste funny to me. It might just be the whole line. Dyed hipster garbage.

  • R C Dean||

    Have you tried the Jones Artisanal Mayo, SF? Supposed to be good.

  • SugarFree||

    Shh... don't get sloopy started up again. He's going to rage-stroke out on us.

  • sloopyinca||

    I just had to come back and check this thread one last time, didn't I?

    R C Dean, you're a motherfucker.

  • Mo' $parky||

    He's probably been doing a lot of rage-stroking lately what with the wife being preggers and all.

  • kinnath||

    Goose Island is good. Virgil's root beer, cream soda, and black cherry are great.

  • sloopyinca||

    Holy Fuck! How did this sneak past us all?

    Good news on the horizon for Detroit taxpayers?
    Is there such a thing?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    So we have found the threshold at which out politicians don't have to kowtow to the cops and firefighters every wish. Unfortunately, that threshold is the seventh level of hell known as Detroit.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Damn linky things

  • sloopyinca||

    Not so fast, Scruffy.

    FTA: "While police officers deserve every dollar they earn, I don't believe the public interest would be served if the injunction was granted," Manderfield (the judge in the hearing) said.
    -and-
    "The public interest here is that the city of Detroit survive," (state Asst AG) Murphy said. "That's what this stability agreement is about."

    All the sides are still fucked in the head. The only reason for the sanity is a financial crisis even they can't sweep under the rug.

  • Brutus||

    Motown is just a quarter-click away from the Thunderdome.

  • ||

    An even better RC Cola ad.

  • Elphie||

    So drinking RC Cola is like sticking a cat into the corner pocket to amuse you by batting at passing balls while you play pool?

  • ||

    In order to help you kill Nazis. You forgot the most important part.

  • Pro Libertate||

    And Mark Twain.

  • ||

    Mark Twain was not a Nazi.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's where the Nazis first went wrong, not basing themselves on Twain's works.

  • Elphie||

    WOW! Is there anything RC Cola CAN'T do?!

  • sloopyinca||

    Is there anything RC Cola CAN'T do?!

    Yeah, taste decent.

  • SugarFree||

    Guh. We had this burger place where I grew up, been there forever. Everything they made was great, except the customers and the people working there had an average age around 70. RC Cola only, and I swear it was mostly just syrup. It came out barely bubbly, went flat almost immediately, just sickly sweet. Diabetes step one (of seven.)

  • mr simple||

    In fact, you can thank the federal government, and not corporations, for the prevalence of high fructose corn syrup over cane sugar in American soda.

    Sugar is sugar. There is no difference to how sucrose or HFCS is processed by your body. Or honey or agave for that matter.

  • ||

    Agave would be metabolized differently, because it's almost pure fructose. I think honey might be too. Sugar and HFCS ~50-50 fructose-glucose.

  • kinnath||

    Sucrose is 50/50 fructose and glucose.

    Honey varies by type but tends to run 60% fructose and 40% glucose with small amount of complex sugars like maltose.

  • Xiver||

  • mr simple||

    Interesting links, though the second one is just about fructose and doesn't draw a distinction between sucrose and HFCS.

    Second, as a result of the manufacturing process for high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for absorption and utilization. In contrast, every fructose molecule in sucrose that comes from cane sugar or beet sugar is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized.

    This is the first I've read of any difference in the metabolizing of sucrose vs HFCS.

  • kinnath||

    This is not new.

    The two sides of the argument scream past each other without listening to each other.

    It is absolutely true that a calorie from glucose is the same as a calorie from fructose. If you do an annual accounting of calories in versus calories burned over the course of a year, it doesn't make any difference at all which version of sugar you consume.

    It is also true that the path into the bloodstream is different for glucose and fructose and there can be a short term (in terms of hours) difference in the way the body responds to a dose of pure glucose (dextrose), pure fructose, pure sucrose, or HFCS.

  • mr simple||

    OK, again I'm mainly focusing on the sucrose/HFCS distinction. I know that while glucose can be processed by every cell in your body, only the liver primarily metabolizes fructose. But everything else I've read says there is physiologically no difference in the effects it has on your body. The Princeton study suggests there might be small differences that add up over time. I try to avoid both, either way.

  • mr simple||

    The last it stands for sucrose/HFCS.

  • Xiver||

    I also remember reading a study about how fructose interferes with appetite, but I can't find it anymore.

    My opinion; HFCS is cheaper to add to drinks than sugar and it doesn't make people feel full nearly as quick as sugar, therefore people are more likely to drink more. I'm willing to bet that the soda companies realized this early on and that is one of the reasons it was so readily adopted over sugar.

    It's surprisingly difficult to find any meaningful studies of any opinion on HFCS. I'm sure we'll be seeing more in the near future, now that the pot has been stirred.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Isn't HFCS easier to get to market though? Not sure if it makes any difference, but that's what I thought.

  • ||

    It's cheaper, due to subsidies and tariffs. That's about it, as far as I know.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    What I meant was, since it's a liquid, HFCS is easier to transport.

  • kinnath||

    Liquid HFCS is easier to mix into drinks and baked goods than dry sucrose. So there is a small manufacturing benefit to HFCS.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Also, HFCS 90 is sweeter than table sugar.

  • ||

    That's just because it's something like 55-45 fructose-glucose, rather than the exact 50-50 of sucrose. Fructose is a lot sweeter than glucose.

  • Aresen||

    As that is fairly well accepted on this website, I figured Krayewski was just throwing a snark at the anti-HFCS crowd.

  • kinnath||

    Long term, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Short term, there is a different path for glucose and fructose.

  • ||

    Long term, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.

    NO FUCKING WRONG NO NO NO NO WRONG

  • kinnath||

    Dr. Groovus was here a few weeks ago and gave a detailed description of the metabolism of various sugars. In short, the body does different things with glucose and fructose.

  • mr simple||

    Why do I always miss the lectures? I get the difference between glucose and fructose, my comment was wrt the sugar/HFCS distinction in the article.

  • kinnath||

    The ignorant masses have noted that the rise in obesity parallels the increase in the use of HFCS.

    The ignorant masses have missed the somewhat more important correlation that increase in obesity matches that growth of a "normal" serving from 10 ounes of soda to a 32, 44, or 55 ounce pail of soda at the local convenience shop.

  • ||

    But fat people buy DIET soda!

    I think Video Games and # of TV channels is a better correlation.

  • mr simple||

    And the growing amount of sugar in our foodstuffs as we moved to a low fat diet craze.

  • ||

    I think this is the largest contributor. Fuck you, food pyramid.

  • mr simple||

    Seriously, when I think of the trouble I had making weight as a wrestler in HS, thinking I was eating healthily the whole time...

  • The Unknown Pundit||

    Tell'em Warty!

    I'm in the middle of Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories, and he makes a strong case against carbohydrates, especially processed sugars and flour.

  • ||

    There was some funny shit that used to trumpet Fat Free.

  • The Unknown Pundit||

    LOL!

    It's not that simple, mr.

    Frutose is processed by the liver and enters the bloodstream as triglycerides, and elevated triglycerides increase the risk for heart disease.

  • Loki||

    Remember when the anti-smoking rhetoric started to heat up in the 90's and anyone who claimed that we were heading down a slippery slope and next they'd want to go after soda was accused of being a reactionary hysteric or a schill for "big tobacco"? Good times...

  • Fatty Bolger||

    That's why I take the "broccoli argument" very seriously.

  • ||

    Shutup you reactionary shill.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Meh, I was more upset about the anti-violence in art crowd. Sorry smokers, but like so many of my fellow video-gamers, Janet Reno was my concern.

  • albo||

    We're fat because we no longer spend all day hoeing wheat or pounding wash on rocks or carrying pigs of iron.

    We're rich and work in offices and even in India a network of random dudes brings our lunch right to our desk.

    Fat asses ahoy!

  • Cardinal Fang||

    Nobody has mentioned that that's Meredith MacRae in the photo. Now if they had a soda that tasted like Meredith MacRae . . . .

    fap fap fap fap fap

  • The Unknown Pundit||

    I thought that looked like her. Time to go down to the junction.

  • Cardinal Fang||

    +1, dude.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Lots of curves, you bet. And even more, when you get, to the Junction!

    And now, a word from our sponsor: Ya ... HOO! That's Mountain Dew! {gunshot ricochet}

  • Keith3D||

    Water is bad for your health because too much of it and you drown.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    You know who else liked "science based plans?" Hitler and Stalin.

    (But not Pol Pot, as science was too intellectual.)

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