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Sugar-coating the message about a danger equal to smoking in public

Kevin McPartlan’s (Irish Examiner, April 9) complaint about a tax on sugary drinks is, at most, at a sideshow to a far bigger picture.

The current worldwide epidemic of obesity is caused by all the sugar that is embedded in food and drink rather than by fats in those meals. Now until relatively recently that statement was generally seen as scientific nonsense.

However that ‘scientific consensus’ itself is now seen to a scandal of historic proprtions; arguably the greatest scientific scandal of the past century.

In fact, it was a scandal that got to the very heart of science itself in that to arrive at the conclusions about fats in food meant effectively overriding nothing less than the scientific method itself.

As long ago as 1972 a scientist called John Yudkin wrote a book about sugar called Pure, White, and Deadly and although it was reasonably popular, the nutritionism establishment became the proverbial ton of bricks to it and rubbished Yudkin’s reputation.

Now that book is due to be seen as an absolute scientific classic.

In this scientific Watergate, the part of Woodward and Bernstein is played by Nina Teicholz and the relevant book is called The Big Fat Surprise which explains in detail what I can merely mention here.

How long will it be before current attitudes to sugar are seen as amazing as 20th century attitudes to smoking in public already are?

Frank Desmond

Evergreen Road

Cork


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