What we are about to discuss today would not be permitted to be published in a communist country, or if we lived in under a dictatorship. “Why” you might ask? The answer: Money.
The sad truth about sugar my friend, is that it has become an industry. And whenever money is involved and data is showing long-lasting damages to society’s health, one’s gotta wonder why public officials haven’t taken drastic action to educate the public and prevent current practices from continuing on.
Lucky for us, there are plenty of public records available to satisfy one’s desire to be informed on the subject.
For starters, here is a 2015 article titled “How The Food Industry Helps Engineer Our Cravings” produced and released by NPR. This is just one of the many you can find online. Want it even better? Go the old research way of visiting libraries to consult medical journals … the thrill of the search, the hidden gems you find that you didn’t even know existed … sorry, what were we talking about?!
If, unlike me, the nerd in you doesn’t get excited about research, attached below are some links to an entertaining yet educational way to delve into that world. You’re welcome.
My New Facebook Friend
Meet Damon Gameau from Australia - a Husband, Father, Actor, Film Producer and the list goes on.
Damon decided to use his own body as a scientific experiment, consuming 40 teaspoons (160 grams) of sugar a day for 60 days. Through this experiment he embarked on a journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. The most astounding part about it, in my opinion, was that he was determined to do so by consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as 'healthy'. I was in awe of some of his findings!
Watch the Official Trailer to “That Sugar Film” below.
Disclaimer: I, Nany Manley, nor anyone in my business, have no association with “That Sugar Film” producers. None of the proceeds of you purchasing or renting the movie will make it into my wallet. I still think it a very wise investment of your money and time. We watched it at our house as a family and discussed it afterwards.
Could there be a reason behind this “obesity epidemic”? More than just the pre-judged notion that obese people are just lazy and out of control?
I believe that the accountability coin has two sides: the consumer and the food industry.
Today I’d like to talk about one specific practice introduced to the food industry about 40 years ago. Behind the scenes, in the food labs where new products are developed and/or modified, this practice is called The Bliss Point.
It was the late 1970’s when Dr. Pepper wanted to come out with a new flavor. To aid in their field research of what consumers wanted and what magic recipe would make the products fly off the shelves, they brought in Dr. Howard Moskowitz, a market research technology specialist with a Ph.D. in experimental psychology.
The Dr. Pepper experiment used 61 differing levels of sugar content and tested how 3.000 consumers received these flavors. What they discovered was that, the higher the amount of sugar the better the product sold. That was until they reached a certain amount of sweetness that caused consumers to reject the product, dropping in sales.
Introducing - The Bliss Point.
The perfect amount of sugar, an actual mathematical equation, which will create the most desire in the consumer driving sales to higher levels. This discovery was revolutionary to the food giants, starting with soft drink companies, having an ubiquitous influence in today’s food products.
“Creating bliss points in products all over the place is exploiting the human biology, especially in children. It creates this expectation that everything they eat should be sweet. It decreases their palate range to the point that bitter tastes are automatically rejected.”
- Michael Moss - Author of “How the Food Giants Hooked Us”
So, you see? No matter how much one might know intellectually of the harms of consuming a high sugar diet, if their bodies don’t know what is like to have balanced blood sugar levels, they will continue to rely on habits ingrained in their routine for as long as they can remember. We now have a whole generation that grew up after the discovery of The Bliss Point. That means eating sugary cereals for breakfast, deep fried chicken nuggets for lunch and pizza for dinner. Let’s not forget the soft drinks and sugary juices that accompany these meals plus the daily treat - endless supply of candy, cookies or ice cream.
I recognize that this menu scenario would be on the extreme side of sugar consumption but the sad reality is that it isn’t all that uncommon across the U.S.
As a mother, the truly sad news is the constant battle ranging everyday. Not “good vs. evil” but healthy vs. ‘normal’.
Studies have shown that rats (omnivorous like humans) will work harder for sugar than they will for cocaine. I know… I didn’t really believe it either when I first started hearing about these studies. I mean, it’s cocaine! Illegal-not-found-in-nature-can-cause-death-by-overdose cocaine. The thing that is hard to grasp is that cocaine is something sold by drug dealers, someone hiding in dark alleys or lurking in crime filled communities, where unsuspecting civilians don’t just wander in by mistake. On the other hand, a similar substance in appearance and just as addictive and harmful, is readily welcomed into our homes and served for breakfast to our children.
As I mentioned, I believe the coin of accountability has two sides. You probably even heard about some of this info before reading this post, so it’s also not new nor a secret. We know where the food giants stand. Now, where do we - the consumer - stand? How many more years or generations will suffer the effects of sugar addiction?
This is an uphill battle - personally and as a society. Even though I didn’t grow up eating cereal for breakfast and sugary foods weren’t the norm in my home, I still grew up being rewarded with sugar. Good behavior, good grades, family gatherings you name it. Sugar meant happiness. Sugar meant togetherness. Sugar meant I had worked hard and had earned it. Little did I know that I was slowly poisoning my body and forming habits that have taken years and much conscious effort to break.
The Bliss Point has proven that ignorance is not a bliss. Not at all. Here is what I leave you with today: please, ponder on this.
I have no offers for you today, no sales, nothing for you to buy or take action on. I just want you to spend some time with this information. Click on the extra links, watch that movie and remember that there is more at play than just will-power and old habits.
I’ll see you soon - if like mine, your love affair with sugar is an intimate one indeed, I want you to really know this lover of yours, so we ain’t done yet.