Sugar vs alcohol

So as you know I’m sugar free for Lent and this means I have turned my critical eye away from booze and my public health spotlight is on this substance instead.  I saw this TED talk last Summer and have had it saved ever since as I knew the day would come when it would be called upon.  It’s an American Paediatrician talking and gets good after 8 mins.

So why am I sharing this now?  The news of late has been filled with stories of the current govt looking to cut benefit payments to those who are addicts or overweight.  I cannot begin to express how much contempt I have for this idea.  The similarities between alcohol and sugar in terms of their addictive quality, mass marketing and the govt response is striking.  Plus booze is loaded with sugar so you have a double whammy effect.  Although he makes jokes about alcohol being preferential to sugar I would obviously disagree and would argue that it should be on the list of required public health programmes along with sugar.

This specialist health care professional argues very eloquently why govt and corporate promotion of the ‘personal responsibility’ message ignores the fact that most people have limited knowledge and access and society can’t afford it.  The govt are complicit seeing as they have not challenged the industries that manufacture the sugar filled crap that passes for food these days or the booze that is available pretty much anywhere 24/7 to provide the accurate knowledge, access to healthy alternatives and therefore options to reduce the cost burden on society.  Both of these substances are addictive and yet the public health issue is being dodged because it is OUR fault that we got addicted to booze or are obese and therefore their response is to penalise those people further rather than tackle the corporations.  GRRRR just doesn’t feel adequate enough a close to this post – Yosemite Sam it is then!!

yosemite sam

25/02/15 Edited to add: interesting opinion piece from the London School of Economics that reads: ‘the proposal’s underlying strength remains its principles: that, firstly, sufferers should be actively helped and offered treatment but, secondly, that rejecting such treatment is intolerable.’ Read more here



5 thoughts on “Sugar vs alcohol

  1. Love me some Yosemite Sam 😉 This was an interesting discussion. Our food industry is powerful, like the drinks industry. I agree with you re: his opinion of alcohol; I’m ashamed to say I have proven his “you can’t drink yourself under the table more than once a day” point wrong on several occasions! xx

  2. Thanks for sharing! I’m actually struggling pretty badly with the sugar cravings. I made the mistake of baking a batch of cookies. For myself. When I would be stuck indoors for two days due to weather. Bad idea. After binging on them the past 3 days, I finally dumped the remaining cookies in the trash and scraped my dinner plate on top of it. I don’t trust that I wojld t have grabbed a cookie from the top of the trash. Ugh!

    1. Hey Alissa! It’s difficult isn’t it? Have to really control myself around the sweet treats I’ve made as part of this too 🙂

  3. I agree – sugar is something we need to think about, but surely it’s not as bad as booze? Are they planning to introduce limits on the amount of blood sugar we can have when driving due to it’s danger? Or banning sugar while working (policeman refusing sugar in their tea, or a biscuit because they’re on duty anyone)? Sugar may not be good for you, but it doesn’t have the same potential impact on random strangers the way drinking does.

    1. I agree that booze is not as bad as sugar from a social impact point of view BTB but I meant more from a health perspective 🙂

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