Monday, January 18, 2010

Stay Away From Throwback Sodas Too

Good Day Revolutionaries.  We were in the store recently and noticed some "throwback" soda products.  Our friends at treehugger did as well.  Check it out.

Rule #4 of Michael Pollan's new bestseller Food Rules is Avoid food products that contain high-fructose corn syrup. But he notes-
Don't fall for the food industry's latest scam: products reformulated to contain "no HFCS" or "real cane sugar." These claims imply that these foods are somehow healthier, but they're not. Sugar is sugar.

Others think HFCS is worse than sugar, and have linked it to diabetes andhypertension, but let's assume Michael is right and that sugar is sugar. The new Pepsi and Mountain Dew have about 41 grams of the stuff in each can. I got out my trusty old scale and measured that out.
pepsi throwback sugar scale
The paper is to increase the contrast; I put one on each side for balance. I converted the grams to ounces (it is an old scale) and spooned it out. Eight teaspoons worth. You would throw up if you put that much into your coffee, but happily down eight teaspoons of it in a can?
Pepsi is touting the stuff with ads that say "Pepsi Throwback gives shoppers another opportunity to chose natural sweeteners instead of manufactured ones."
Really, as Rosie Mestel points out in the LA Times health blog, so many products are touting the fact that they are made with cane or beet sugar that you might think it was a health food.
And why are companies doing it? There used to be a big difference in price, but according to AG weekly, that gap has narrowed in recent years, he said. And at one point in the past year, the price advantage all but disappeared. So they might as well all look suddenly "natural."
Twenty-five percent of American children are overweight and 11% are obese. Children who drink pop eat more than those who don't, and are fatter; some think it screws up insulin levels and makes them hungrier. It soften and rots teeth. The caffeine is a diuretic and increases bone loss. As one writer put it, "The consumption of soda is leading our children to an early grave."
So don't think that the Throwback is any healthier just because it's "natural"- It isn't.

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