Sunday, March 05, 2006

Now they're after our soda!

From Seattle
One of every five calories in the American diet is liquid. The nation's single biggest "food" is soda, and nutrition experts have long demonized it.

Now they are escalating the fight.

In reports to be published in science journals this week, two groups of researchers hope to add evidence to the theory that soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks don't just go hand-in-hand with obesity, but actually cause it. Not that these drinks are the only cause - genetics, exercise and other factors are involved - but that they are one cause, perhaps the leading cause.

A small point? In reality, proving this would be a scientific leap that could help make the case for higher taxes on soda, restrictions on how and where it is sold - maybe even a surgeon general's warning on labels.

"We've done it with cigarettes," said one scientist advocating this, Barry Popkin at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill . . .

Proving that something causes disease is not easy. It took decades with tobacco, asbestos and other substances now known to cause cancer, and met strong industry opposition. It would be especially tough for a disease as complex as obesity.
"Disease"? "Complex"? If obesity is a disease, then an excessive desire to regulate and tax things is also a disease. If you are trying to control your weight, then don't consume large quantities of high-fructose corn syrup. That is the sum total of everything scientific that there is to be said about soda and obesity. Anything else is a bid for your freedom.

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