Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Over at Slate, I recently found a worthwhile article
critical of That Sugar Film, an Australian, Supersize
Me-like "documentary." I particularly appreciated the following
point, the likes of which I rarely see in journalism about
There's so much more to question in the movie. [Filmmaker Damon] Gameau uses 40 teaspoons of sugar as his daily baseline for comparison -- he claims this level of consumption is normal in Australia -- but the most recent data show that Americans, at least, consume less than half that total every day, an average of just 18 teaspoons. Gameau also treats it as a given that among the sugars that we eat, fructose is uniquely bad for health. In this, he's following the line of Gary Taubes, a journalist who has made this argument for years, and who appears throughout the film. But Taubes understands that his case has not been proved. That's why he's spent so much time raising tens of millions of dollars for a series of laboratory studies that might give us better answers. (Ferris Jabr of Scientific American has a great review of fructose science, and a few of its outstanding questions.) [links dropped, bold added]This isn't the first time I have praised Taubes's efforts to test his ideas, nor is his fearlessness of being proven wrong the only reason.
This story, so unlike the tiresome, quasi-religious thinking I so often see about diet, is a breath of fresh air.
12-19-15: Corrected spelling of Journalistic in title.