I chatted with my husband about the Brinkmann vs. Coca-Cola case tonight, and he threw me for a loop: "Of course these cases are ridiculous, but I think they serve an important purpose," he said.
"Yes, of course. Naturally Coca-Cola didn't cause that man's diabetes, but have you seen their marketing? They make Coke look like a nutrititous part of any diet, like something you can drink gallons of without any effect," he said. And my husband is German! (see previous post for relevance)
"Can't argue with that," I thought. While any idiot knows you can't stuff yourself with candy bars without ill effects, they do make regular Coke look like a completely benign beverage that can -- and should -- be consumed for fun and good health. "COKE ADDS LIFE," remember?
Meanwhile, a new low-sugar campaign is apparently pushing the low-carb craze aside, according to the New York Times. Which should be a good thing, but again, looks to be mainly a marketing ploy. Lots of companies are now simply replacing the popular "low-carb" label with a "low-sugar" one.
The NYTimes cites Dr. Stuart Fischer, who worked for nine years with the low-carb diet specialist Dr. Robert Atkins and now runs his own nutrition practice in Manhattan, as noting that artificial sweeteners do nothing for a person's "overall health" because they perpetuate cravings for sweet foods.
"They remind dieters about the taste of the forbidden fruit. Does Alcoholics Anonymous recommend alcohol-free beer? Of course not," Dr. Fischer says. He apparently counsels his patients to cut sweet foods from their diet to eliminate sugar cravings, which he says can lay the groundwork for Type 2 diabetes. Can't argue with that.
What gets me is the article's mention that in March, a San Diego woman sued Kellogg, General Mills and Kraft Foods, charging that the companies used misleading marketing to sell their reduced-sugar cereals. She claims she thought the products would be "healthier" and lower in calories. Ahem... as far as I know, every box has the nutrition information right there on the side panel. Can you say, "litigation madness"?
In the end, I still think the most important message is that "every individual is responsible for their own healthful lifestyle." Especially if you're Zuckerkrank, which is German for diabetic -- literally translated as "sugar-sick."