(Jon Barron) You would think that the case against excess sugar in the diet is now clear cut–that the scientific community is lined up against it. You might also think that, as a result, like cigarettes, the consumption of sugared foods and beverages is on the decline. But you would be wrong on both counts. To paraphrase the great Mark Twain, “The Reports of sugar’s death are greatly exaggerated.” And this is especially true when it comes to sugared drinks: sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, etc.
Like Alice, we are about to go “through the looking glass” and enter a bizarro world where up is down and left is right. We are about to enter the unsettling world of scientific studies where, despite everything you have been led to believe, very little is what it seems. And like Alice, we will start at one point and end at a different point far, far away–before we finally get to return exactly where we started in our normal reality. Our journey will begin with a discussion of sugared beverages and a recent study that says they are still alive and well, totally contradicting everything we thought we knew about changing dietary habits in the United States. But that’s just the beginning. We will very quickly move on to a discussion of the numerous contradictory studies about the effects of sugar–and once again, we will find that everything we thought we knew is contradicted by numerous studies of dubious reality. And ultimately, we will conclude by trying to get a handle on how to deal with all of these contradictions–which will finally allow us to go back through the looking glass to the marginally saner world we know and love….