Sugarcoating the facts?

Piece Sugar Lumps Sugar Sweet Sugar Cube

Today, the thought of smoking in an office seems fabulously anachronistic, probably even to smokers. In fact, cigarette smoking has dropped by about two-thirds in the past fifty years. An article by the Huffington Post identifies the five main reasons why smoking has declined so dramatically: young people at center of prevention efforts; anti-smoking laws; increased tax on cigarettes; real science discrediting previous research downplaying harm from smoking; and a less glamorous portrayal of smoking in the media. Moreover, with the aim of further dissuasion, cigarette packs in many countries are marked with gruesome photos and intense, frightening facts like: “smoking kills”.

Reminiscent of the pseudoscience that refused to link smoking with health risks, the major food industry-backed research has for decades encouraged us to replace fats with sugars. The latter is now being loudly discredited. We have now been made aware of the dangers of the small, shiny white crystals. We understand that sodas, marshmallows and chocolate bars are not doing wonders to our health, and it’s not only because of the calories. But what about the cereals many in the western world depend on for breakfast, and the granola bars advertised as healthy snacks? And the fruit juices with which we are led to believe we’re fulfilling our daily intake of vitamins? Though these foods may appear to be doing us a service, they are nothing but junk foods in disguise. Recent research is inclined to claim that these processed foods can be just as detrimental as cigarette smoking. Both can kill.

Read the full post on the CFS blog here.

This blogpost covers the CFS44 side event “Reclaiming healthy and sustainable diets as a public good”

Blogpost by Mirna Franic, #CFS44 Social Reporter – M.Franic(at)cgiar.org
Photo credit: MaxPixel

This post is part of the live coverage during the 44th Session of the Committee on World Food Security, a project supported by GFAR. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s