Last week, the press went mad for a story out of New Zealand about a woman who died — as the press put it– “of soda consumption.” But upon closer inspection, it was clear this woman was gravely ill for years and her cravings for soda were simply a symptom of her many diseases. But that didn’t stop the food nannies from latching on to the tragic story in order to use it as a cautionary tale against soda consumption.
Now there’s more junk science to back up the food nannies.
Today, the press is reporting on a new “study” just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study, conducted by the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute and Harvard University, concluded that soft drink consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke. The study’s author, Dr. Adam Bernstein, explained that "… regular intake of these beverages sets off a chain reaction in the body that can potentially lead to many diseases — including stroke."
Wow, sounds scary…until you read some of the study's other findings–like the fact that people who consume a lot of soda seem to have a lot of habits that researchers agree may lead individuals to have a stroke. According to Science Daily:
In addition, study findings show that men and women who consumed more than one serving of sugar-sweetened soda per day had higher rates of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol and lower physical activity rates. Those who drank soda more frequently were also more likely to eat red meat and whole-fat dairy products. Men and women who consumed low-calorie soda had a higher incidence of chronic disease and a higher body mass index (BMI).
Ok…so let me break this down. The researchers came to the conclusion that physically inactive, disease-riddled, overweight people with high blood pressure and high cholesterol and who consumed red meat and whole-fat dairy products had a stroke because they drank a soda?
I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist. I’m not a biologist, a chemist and I’m only a partially healthy eater. But what I can say about this is latest study is…SHUT UP, already! We know, we know! Everything’s bad for us. We’re all going to die of eggs, or butter, or booze, or pink slime or yellow dye on popcorn, or trans-fats, or school lunches, or toys in happy meals, or peanuts, or salt…
Yes, yes, we’re all going to die of food and drinks…that is if the bullies at school to pick us off first or if we aren’t killed from dodge ball or from riding our bikes without helmets. Thank goodness Harvard researchers are there to uncover the latest thing that’s going to kill us: soda.
This tendency to blaming one single food or beverage for a disease is just irresponsible. It will do nothing to help people improve their diets and avoid crippling diseases. What it will do is fuel efforts to limit, ban and tax these food and beverage items. It will hike prices on food–something that will lead to Americans' further reliance on food stamps and other food assistance programs.
Perhaps the researchers should look into another cause of strokes: Extreme outrage at these ridiculous (no-doubt government-funded) studies!
I’m feeling a stroke coming on as I type this.