Why are people afraid of sugar

Eat fear-free


From Detlef Brendel

Many talk us into fear of food and obesity: politicians, NGOs, the World Health Organization and pharmaceutical companies. Behind it are their interests, not ours.

Hardly a day goes by without negative news about food, about the food manufacturers or basically about our actually proven diet. The granola tastes too good because it contains addictive sugars. Meat makes you aggressive after the cattle have already accelerated climate change through flatulence during their lifetime. Perfect analysis finds traces of glyphosate in beer, which at 1000 liters per day can increase the risk of illness. The doner kebab contains phosphate and should be banned, although this substance is not problematic in the human body, but is essential for bone formation. Limos cause tooth decay, a dental disease that, according to the study by the dentists, hardly exists due to increased oral hygiene. And if you don't live vegan but love traditional cuisine, eggs will kill you as a punishment with a heart attack, that's how we were baked in for over 30 years - until the cholesterol warning was withdrawn. And indeed, sober consideration shows that anyone who has eaten for a lifetime has died in the end. We have a 100 percent mortality rate.

People are exposed to constant barrage of assertions, more or less substantiated theories and interpretations. Above all, attacks based on economic interests or ideologies create a distorted image, which journalists often work on as henchmen - if one understands by this to be less competent vicarious agents without critical questioning of the key words. NGOs essentially determine the agitation. But the agenda is also shaped by other interests. It is least influenced by reputable nutritionists who still believe in evidence-based science. Their doubtful or warning comments mostly go unheard because, firstly, they disrupt the business of fear and, secondly, they are assumed to be partial. Those who act as consumer protectors against the supposedly devastating economy are far better off.

Pleasure and fear

The constant fear of daily nutrition creates a breeding ground for social uncertainty. If the daily food that is needed to sustain life is supposed to be questionable and those who produce it - from farmers to food manufacturers - are discredited, there is even less trust in the economy as a whole and especially in the development of a global one Economy. Politicians are of course also affected by this, and they are apparently not even able to guarantee us a healthy breakfast. It is better to give applause and money to those who want to have recognized this and promise us salvation.

"Liberated enjoyment is on the index."

Enjoyment is a rational or emotional state that one experiences with oneself. It is individual perception. Not in isolation, but also together with other people - but individually oriented towards your own criteria of enjoyment. People are looking for identity. Eating behavior is a factor of increasing importance. You no longer trust your own feelings and ask yourself the question: "What do I have an appetite for?" Instead, one perceives food as a threat and vegetates with the anxious question: "What harms me the least?". One submits to norms, compliance with which conveys a feeling of belonging.

The food was actually a pleasure. But doubts are growing. Was the culinary event with its exotic ingredients politically correct in terms of sustainability and social compatibility? Does the aromatic salt crust cause blood pressure to rise? How much taste-optimizing sugar was in all delicacies and can one or two more spoons of sugar be added to the espresso without committing suicide in installments? Can it even be politically correct to enjoy food and even to enjoy it? Perhaps porridge with milk would have been more correct in every way. But milk isn't supposed to be as healthy as we thought from childhood.

Liberated enjoyment is on the index. Why does a climate of opinion develop that takes away the joy of eating and makes enjoyment appear harmful? Is there a pleasure in fear? No doubt there are good fears and bad fears. Most of all, you don't want to be responsible for your fear yourself. The fear of becoming fat through the wrong lifestyle, which one could eliminate through the right lifestyle, is replaced by the fear of food, of chocolate, sugar and, in general, of indulgence. Then it is the fault of the others who make these indulgence objects available in a great variety at low cost. The conspiracy theory that because of the sugar tasty tomato ketchup is only produced in order to harm the health of the consumer hits on sensitively trimmed ears.

Sugar as a scapegoat

What people do not like is not suitable for the propaganda struggle. For this reason, sugar in particular has recently become the target of agitation. As a component of many foods, it conveys good taste. He is also easily remembered as an alleged villain. Sugar is not a problem, but the poor scapegoat in a strategy with huge economic interests. He is the most attacked, he is said to be a universal cause of disease, and even his fiscal punishment is a matter of ignorance in politics.

"The know-it-alls of the nutrition education, which constantly follows us, manage to make us fear food and even more so of enjoyment."

Claims do not create truths. Sugar is not a drug like cocaine. The tasty food component does not create addiction. Sugar is not the only cause of obesity and other so-called affluent diseases.1 The know-it-alls of the nutrition education, which constantly follows us, manage to make us fear food and even more so of enjoyment. Dealing with diet in a way that is hostile to pleasure is an attack on the psyche. Restriction and reduction become guidelines for recommendations. Striking warnings about fat and sugar, alcohol and meat, gluten and glutamate, histamines and lactose make meal planning stressful instead of anticipation. Renunciation is propagated as problem-oriented and morally correct nutrition. And the army of health advisors is bombarding consumers with warnings of impending diseases and an early death. But we're still alive. And not only that. We also live well and longer and longer.

The alleged education does violence to consumers. It has even led to a new disease because nutritionists and psychotherapists are increasingly sharing patients. The fixation on what is supposedly healthy, firstly and morally correct food, can become compulsive. Orthorexia nervosa is called this phenomenon with seemingly pathological features. It is a desperate attempt to find correct behavior as an individual solution to a problem, which then becomes the real problem for those affected. It is a recognizable eating disorder that is basically an anxiety disorder. The fear for health and the concentration on food and nutrition are omnipresent among those affected. For those fixated on it, it's a cynical cycle. Neurobiologists know that anxiety disorders are often linked to a weakened serotonin system. A balanced diet that also ensures sufficient enjoyment could be helpful. But precisely this is rejected out of ideological consequence.

"A number of scientific observations indicate that consuming high amounts of sugar or carbohydrates is not associated with being overweight."

There seems to be only one central problem for human health: weight. Kilos that deviate from the norm are blamed for an imaginative range of diseases. Anyone who deviates from the body mass index (BMI) becomes a risk to themselves and an economic burden for the human community. It is fascinating to see the simple logic with which all variants of diseases of affluence can evidently be eliminated if one just avoids delving into the complexity of medical questions in too much detail.

Overweight and obesity are almost always mentioned in the same breath as sugar. This has been proven for decades, ingrained and is impossible to get out of the mind, although a number of scientific observations indicate that the consumption of high amounts of sugar or carbohydrates does not go hand in hand with obesity. Studies have shown that slim people consume more sweets than obese or normal-weight people, while fat people eat an average of more fat than slim people.2 Of course, this does not mean that overweight people are obese solely because of their appetite for fatty foods, or that slim people do not wear lifebuoys thanks to their sweet preferences . The appetite for sweet or fat is not least a characteristic of different physical constitutions, i.e. genetic characteristics and predispositions. Marburg researchers who have dealt with the genetic disposition for body weight were able to find evidence for the traditional claim that the genes are supposed to make you fat. Two findings that were achieved by the Marburg researchers with the support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research are: "About 60 percent of the genetic make-up is responsible for someone becoming overweight." If you have weight problems, genetic factors can often play a decisive role. ”3 This can also explain why, because of their genetic predisposition, severely overweight people can hardly manage to become significantly thinner in the long term.

Of increasing weight

People who were able to gain weight quickly because of their genetic makeup have long had an advantage in human history. Those who built up sufficient fat reserves in good times also survived periods of hunger. In the industrialized nations this advantage has been reversed: Modern living and eating habits favor obesity and at the same time periods of hunger no longer occur. What do we need bellies for today when we have refrigerators and pizza taxis?

"When the pills are there, patients are needed."

But even the pizza taxi does not automatically lead to obesity. Weight is not standardized for people, even if the BMI suggests this to us. As with height, there is a significant variation. There they are again, the creepy genes. The supply of individual nutrients such as fat, protein or carbohydrates is not decisive for the risk of unwanted weight gain, but the overall energy balance. Those who hardly move need less energy and, with a high energy supply, quickly find themselves in a positive energy balance. This means that if you add more energy to your body through food than the body can use, you gain weight. That is why the sui generis sugar is not fattening up either. After all, a calorie is a calorie. With this knowledge, many people manage to keep their body weight in a balance that appears healthy to us today through a good balance between the food they eat and the energy used up through vitality.

When focusing on the topic of weight, however, the question arises of who defines the boundaries here and establishes an order according to which the slim people are exemplary and the overweight and obese are discriminated. This classification of individual people according to a mathematical formula is relatively new. Even 50 years ago, according to statistics, there were many people who by no means corresponded to today's norm. Fifty years ago, however, there was no daily stressful discussion about obesity. That displeased industries that needed clinical pictures to shape markets. The norm becomes a grid for potential diseases. When the pills are there, patients will be needed. There is even a technical term for the creative invention of diseases: disease mongering. The system of disease mongering includes lowering limit values ​​in order to increase the number of people to be treated and to give symptoms artificial relevance. A slightly elevated blood sugar level is then referred to as prediabetes. What could be compensated for with a little more exercise can be treated with pills regardless of the well-being of the actually healthy person.

The WHO diet

The World Health Organization (WHO) is one of the institutions that is frequently cited on nutritional issues. One would think that the work of the WHO would focus on the world's persistent hunger as the greatest health risk. Every year around three million small children die of malnutrition. 20 million underweight children are born each year because their mothers are malnourished. A worldwide organization for health would have ample work here. However, the WHO has now subordinated hunger edema to the fold of fat.

Obesity was first raised by WHO in 1988 through the Regional Office for Europe. Prof. Philip James has been appointed to chair the expert hearing on the possible link between diet and chronic diseases. As a result, the WHO Report 797 was published in 1990 and the recommendation made to limit sugar consumption to a maximum of ten percent of the calories consumed. With that Philip James prevailed against much opposition. Many experts believed that dealing with global malnutrition was far more important than focusing on obesity.

"The IOTF, which appears in public as an independent institution and advisor to the WHO, was founded largely with funds from the pharmaceutical industry."

But James had other strategic considerations. In 1986 he founded the International Association for Studies and Obesity (IASO), which served as a stepping stone to an economically successful science. Then in 1995 and 1996 he set up the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), which eagerly collected data to identify obesity as a burgeoning risk even in developing countries. In doing so, he created the perfect coordinate system to dominate the entire subject. In relation to the WHO, the IASO functions as a so-called NGO, i.e. a non-governmental organization with clearly defined interests. As the umbrella organization of 43 national organizations, the IOTF worked directly and closely with the WHO to guide their discussions and decisions. Government contracts for studies worth millions were awarded to the institutions in order to create ideas ranging from nutritional profiles to regulatory measures and penalty taxes.

In 2002 the WHO Report 916 was published, which called for restrictions on sugar consumption. More than a hundred countries rejected it because the required sugar restriction had no scientific basis. James' strategy was followed with rigor: On November 16, 2006, the European Charter to Combat Obesity was published. This paper generally speaks of an obesity epidemic. The nomenclature alone gives the impression that a few pounds above the BMI bar would be an epidemic-like disease with devastating consequences. Legislation has been called for to reduce the scale and impact of energy-rich food advertising. Restrictions on advertising to children were called for. The proportions of fat, free sugar and salt in processed foods should be reduced. Statutory and other regulatory measures, including fiscal penalties, should become part of a surveillance system. The IOTF and Philip James have achieved great success. A completely nonsensical traffic light labeling of foodstuffs - which Philip James claims he developed for the first time in 1986 - also made it onto the agenda of the political discussion.

In 2005, The Mail on Sunday published that Prof. Philip James, also anti-obesity advisor to the British government, has close ties to the manufacturers of weight loss products and has been funded by millions.4 The renowned London “British Medical Journal” (BMJ ) published interesting background information on the organizations of Philip James in June 2006.5 It was documented in detail that the IOTF, which appears in public as an independent institution and advisor to the WHO, was founded largely with funds from the pharmaceutical industry. In the mid-1990s, the pharmaceutical companies involved wanted to create an institution that would define obesity as a serious medical problem and promote prevention and treatment strategies.The preparation of a market for slimming pills was worth millions to the corporations. They financed around 75 percent of the task force, which had to convince people that they were fat and therefore endangered health.

"We are well on the way to basically driving people out of their indulgence 'addiction' and regulating them into a life of prescribed asceticism."

Actually, it must be thought-provoking that all the major ailments of an affluent society should depend on weight. When there wasn't an arbitrarily set BMI, people weren't necessarily slimmer either. It is also thought-provoking: the increasingly sedentary lifestyle is not considered relevant. Today's exposure to stress and other environmental factors are dismissed as secondary in the debates. Genetics, which are increasingly recognized as shaping many diseases and also for individual weight, does not attract much attention. Instead, it is always the diet, especially the sugar and the weight. The pill-makers had success with their strategy across the board.

Pill against sugar

A common approach in medicine is that there are no healthy people, only poorly diagnosed sick people. From this it can consistently be deduced that new clinical pictures must be defined in order to then treat them with appropriate means. A good example of this is the supposedly addictive effects of sugar. In the spring of 2016, Queensland University in Australia came to the shocking realization that the good taste of sugar makes you happy and therefore requires consistent treatment. The knowledge is not new. The mesolimbic system is very much involved in the emotion of joy. This includes the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. When consumed, dopamine is released. However, this does not only happen when consuming sugar, but also when exposed to sunlight, caresses, after a good glass of wine, after delicious pasta and even when sexuality is lived. Experiences that are perceived as positive, which are often associated with pleasure, have a wide range of effects in the central nervous system. Are these all addictive potentials that turn us into patients who need urgent intervention? It can still come. We are well on the way to basically driving people out of their pleasure “addiction” and regulating them into a life of prescribed asceticism.

Queensland University's Selena Bartlett, who compares sugar to cocaine or morphine, gives people a reassuring message. She claims to have found that sugar cravings can be treated with the same drugs that are used for nicotine addiction.6 Careful research then reveals that Selena Bartlett, who was at the University of California at the time, got big in 2007 and 2008 Merits in the profiling of a preparation for smoking cessation.7 If the smokers are less or alternatively turn to the vaporizers, a replacement market is needed for such a preparation. Selena Bartlett is happy to help.

The pills she propagated (Champix / Chantix), however, have a bitter aftertaste. They lead to a blockade of the reward and pleasure center in the brain and make it insensitive to the dopamine released in the body. Therefore, all packs of the beneficial withdrawal pills must carry the warning that there is a risk of developing depression, developing suicidal tendencies and violent behavior. The desire to jump off the bridge becomes understandable when the reward and pleasure center in the brain is blocked. Human well-being and happiness are switched off. It would have been better to eat a bar of chocolate. Life would be more worth living and also longer.