Shocking New Science About Sugar


Jonathon: Hey everybody, Jonathon Bailor and Carrie Brown back with another Smarter Science of Slim show. What up, Carrie Brown?
Carrie: Hello Jonathon.
Jonathon: Carrie dared me to do my falsetto voice during the introduction, so what did you think about my falsetto instruction?
Carrie: I think you’re hysterical.
Jonathon: That’s totally fair. I am a little hysterical today Carrie, because one of our lovely, lovely listeners forwarded me a report that was put out by actually a financial group called Credit Suisse on the financial and economic implications of insanity. This report is just amazing. I want to share some of the key takeaways with our listeners and open it up for discussion.
Carrie: I think you mean Suisse, but never mind; carry on.
Jonathon: Listeners, if you want to find this report, search for “credit” and then the word S-u-i-s-s-e.
Carrie: Credit Suisse.
Jonathon: Is it Suisse? Okay, Americans would probably say Credit “Swiss.”
Carrie: And get everybody confused.
Jonathon: Okay, well anyway. The report is free, and however you pronounce it, the facts in it are still the same. So I’m going to start from the very beginning, Carrie. The report is about sugar, obesity, all kinds of fun stuff. But here we go, from the top. All right Carrie, are you ready? First, this report tells us that the most recent estimates around the annual costs to the healthcare system globally, due to the obesity epidemic, are in excess off — are you ready for this —
Carrie: $600 billion US.
Jonathon: That’s billion with a b.
Carrie: That’s a lot of zeros.
Jonathon: It’s actually so many zeros, they didn’t put it in their report. They just wrote “600” and the word “billion,” because they would have run out of ink.
Carrie: Hey, government, don’t we have a budget crisis? There it is.
Jonathon: $600 billion. It gets worse, so that’s just obesity. Now, type 2 diabetes is now affecting close to 370 million people worldwide, and the cost of it on the global healthcare system is, Carrie Brown…
Carrie: $470 billion US.
Jonathon: Which, to put that in perspective, represents over 10 percent of all healthcare costs, just on diabetes alone.
Carrie: Wow. That’s staggering.
Jonathon: Carrie, this is the thing. When people — recently, we had an episode we talked about candy and Halloween. Everyone wants to say, “Oh, you know, it’s like fun in moderation, yada, yada, yada. Don’t be an extremist.” You know what’s an extreme thing? It’s pretty extreme that 370 million people worldwide have a potentially fatal disease called type 2 diabetes and that the combined global economic burden of obesity and diabetes is now topping a trillion dollars. That’s pretty extreme.
Carrie: Well, I think so. I think that’s pretty extreme.
Jonathon: Very extreme. So more shocking statistics. Again, this is from the Credit…
Carrie: Suisse.
Jonathon: Or Swiss report. So check this out. Carrie, this is one of my “favorites,” in the USA alone, the healthcare costs tied to just type 2 diabetes — remember, this isn’t the diabetes you’re born with; this is the diabetes that’s caused from inSANE edible products — are estimated at $140 billion. That’s the US alone. Now obviously, Carrie, that is a high number. But to illustrate just how shockingly high that is, we have to hold it relative to something, right?
When numbers get this big — $140 billion — obviously, that’s high, but how high is it? The researchers did this amazing comparison where they said, “Okay, $140 billion for type 2 diabetes,” but what about tobacco? Tobacco, good Lord, we’d never allow it in schools. We don’t allow our children to be exposed to secondhand smoke. It’s just this terrible — oh my God — tobacco. There are these public service campaigns. There are warning labels on it. I mean, certainly, tobacco must have a higher economic burden than diabetes, right?
Carrie: Nah, wrong answer.
Jonathon: It’s not even close, friends. $140 billion for type 2 diabetes compared to $90 billion for tobacco-related healthcare costs, and that’s tobacco related. That’s just not smoking. That’s all forms, like chewing tobacco — everything — dip. All tobacco-related healthcare costs — $50 billion lower than just type 2 diabetes. Forget about overweight and obesity. That’s just type 2 diabetes.
Carrie: Wow.
Jonathon: We have more, Carrie. We have more, so folks…
Carrie: These numbers are just huge though. I really am a bit stunned. The numbers are enormous.
Jonathon: And it gets so — we have a lot of mo (??). Those numbers — those giant numbers we just talked about, Carrie — are growing at a rate, for type 2 diabetes, of about 4 percent per year.
Carrie: That’s huge.
Jonathon: Again, to put that in perspective, that’s two to four times the rate that obesity and overweight are growing. So we know we have an obesity and an overweight epidemic, but type 2 diabetes — which again, remember, you can die of type 2 diabetes and you will die of it if you don’t receive proper medical care — is growing at two to four times the speed of the obesity epidemic.
Carrie: Wow. I’m saying wow a lot in this podcast.
Jonathon: Well, hopefully, the listeners are too because this is the kind, when we talk about, Carrie, this being so much more than the scale and how this calorie math is just ridiculous. This illustrates — not only is it about so much more for us each as individuals to manifest the glory that’s within us and to live on purpose and to not be worried about the number on the scale — but just in terms of social consciousness, now we’re trying to be eco-friendly with the environment, and we want to be socially conscious and aware. A world by 2020, the annual cost to the healthcare system globally will reach $700 billion for type 2 diabetes alone, affecting nearly — this is by 2020, so right around the corner — half a trillion people.
Carrie: I can’t even comprehend that number. I can’t.
Jonathon: Friends, it really is time to transcend these myths and marketing and to seek out sanity. Because this is literally — if for no other reason — the socially responsible thing to do to go SANE.
Carrie, some other interesting data. Again, friends, I would so encourage you to just check out this report for yourself, because it’s amazing. What are some of these sources for added sugar in specifically the American diet? Carrie, a full third of added sweeteners in the American diet is coming from soft drinks.
Carrie: Pop. Down with pop.
Jonathon: Then coming up next would be sugars in candy. So that’s about 16 percent. Just to put that in perspective, Carrie, if you took sugars in candy, cakes, cookies and pies — those are the next two categories — and you combined them, it’s still not as high as regular soft drinks.
So if regular soft drinks contribute to a third of all added sweetener consumption, can you imagine the global economic benefit and the interpersonal benefit just — because not only does it stink when we’re sick, because we’re sick, but when you’re healthy, just think of all the glorious stuff you can do. If all we did was eliminate soft drinks — full-sugar soft drinks — can you imagine how much of a more glorious and healthy world we would have?
Carrie: I’m still stunned by those big numbers, to be honest with you.
Jonathon: Carrie is still reeling.
Carrie: I am still reeling, but also the fact that a third of our sugar consumption comes from pop — just pop — shows you what an enormous business that must be and why it’s so important to the pop manufacturers to keep on going.
Jonathon: You do have to start questioning, Carrie, when the health burden — when the causes of death, when the economic burden — of these inSANE food products outstrips tobacco and when the science is clear that many of these products are more addictive than tobacco, no one is saying ban anything. We don’t ban tobacco, but we also don’t hand out packs of cigarettes in schools.
How much clearer does this need to be before the people who are in positions to protect us actually start taking steps to protect us?
Carrie: I’m stunned.
Jonathon: So let’s keep going. To, again, put in perspective just how shocking of an insane situation we are dealing with. The Global Burden of Disease report…
Carrie: There’s a report called the Global Burden of Disease?
Jonathon: Yes. It came out at the end of 2012, so it’s relatively recent. Has now shown that obesity is a more significant health crisis globally — this isn’t in the US; this is globally — than hunger and/or malnourishment. Meaning that we now live in a world where there is more suffering due to the overconsumption of inSANE edible products than there is from a shortage of food.
Carrie: Wow.
Jonathon: Only a few years ago we were talking like, “End world hunger.” We literally need to chant the opposite thing now, which is, “End the worldwide insanity.” It’s great — less people are hungry. But when we have a greater number of people dying and suffering because of an overabundance of non-food, Carrie, the other interesting implication there is, wow, we have the distribution systems in place, and we have the corporate power to feed so many people. What if we could feed them with SANE foods instead of inSANE, addictive, deadly edible products?
Carrie: The results don’t bear thinking about. Well, they do, but in a good way.
Jonathon: It’s just shocking, folks. Just shifting gears a little bit here in terms of this report, one of the other things I really liked about this report is it shone — shined — I’m not sure. It’s such a — whatever…
Carrie: Shone.
Jonathon: Credit Suisse.
Carrie: There we go. That was perfect. Well done. Shone. Shone a light.
Jonathon: Okay. As lovely as this report is, it provides an example of how deep the problem and these calorie myths go. Because the report then goes on to say that the average consumption of calories in the US is estimated currently to be about 3,700 calories per person, per day.
They also go on to say that the governing authorities estimate that on average, we should be consuming about 2,700 calories per day. Now the conclusion that the study states is that, 1) added sweeteners contribute very much to that caloric excess, but, 2) again, this obesity epidemic is being caused by an overconsumption of calories. Which the data support, 3,700 calories per person, per day, when estimates suggest that it should be more like 2,700.
These are incredibly intelligent people that put this report together Carrie, but they all missed — like they’re burying the lead. Here’s the lead. Again, this is just a fact. If an individual believes and the data, in fact, supports that the average American is consuming 3,700 calories per day and that the average American should be consuming 2,700 calories per day, that means the average American is consuming 1,000 too many calories per day. Which according to calorie math, means that the average American should gain a pound every three-and-a-half days, which means the average American should gain 2 pounds every week, which means the average American should gain 104 pounds per year.
Carrie: And we are getting fatter, but we’re not gaining 104 pounds a year.
Jonathon: At all. Not even close to that at all. We’re really burying the lead here. Because if we have data that suggests that the average American is consuming 1,000 extra calories per day, and we actually look at the incidents of overweight, 98 percent of the weight we should be gaining, we’re not gaining. If you actually look at the data of the actual amount of weight we’re gaining, Carrie, it’s about 98 percent lower than would be predicted by the calorie math.
That in and of itself seems like it should be headlines. Like, why isn’t every single American diabetic? Why isn’t every single American obese, and why aren’t we dramatically more obese? Why doesn’t every single American weigh 1,000 pounds? Because based on this data, we should.
It’s because there’s something else going on here. Until we start to appreciate the depth of this problem — for example, Coca Cola says, “Well, you know what? You can’t really blame us. It’s just 140 calories in a can of Coke.” You can see how twisted of a world, when we have a world rooted in calories, not only does it not make any sense mathematically, but we end up in a world where these numbers — this healthcare crisis — the model clearly doesn’t work. It doesn’t work biologically. It doesn’t work metabolically. It doesn’t work sociologically. It doesn’t work economically. It’s just…
Carrie: Jonathon, take a breath, sweet pea.
Jonathon: It makes me angry, Carrie.
Carrie: No kidding. Practice with me.
Jonathon: But no, honestly Carrie, as a non-scientist, when you hear these numbers — first, let’s talk about the numbers of obesity and diabetes, then let’s talk about the numbers of that calorie miscalculated math. What does that make you think?
Carrie: The world’s gone mad.
Jonathon: Insane?
Carrie: Yes. Mad.
Jonathon: But why do you think it is Carrie, that — this is reality. We’re getting riled up about things that are causing 1/100th of the problem that we’re seeing here. People go, “Yeah, this is a problem.” This is a huge problem. How is it that this isn’t getting more attention?
Carrie: Money.
Jonathon: Elaborate, please.
Carrie: It’s a conspiracy. Too many people earn too much money keeping us at a certain level of sick and a certain level of obese.
Jonathon: It’s hard to disagree with that. It’s hard to not draw comparisons to tobacco. One hundred years ago, there was a lot of money to be made convincing people that cigarettes aren’t bad for you. I mean, we were able to change that, so I’m hopeful that we can change this.
Carrie: Right, except this is a problem that affects almost everybody on the planet, whereas the relative number of people who smoked versus those who didn’t was very small. We’re now looking at an epidemic that touches almost everybody.
Jonathon: Building off, again Carrie, the important differences with smoking, one trap I want to empower our listeners to avoid is if you bring this up to your friends and family and your community and you use a smoking analogy, people might say, “Well, that’s great. You can just stop smoking, but people need to eat.” Okay, that is a false dichotomy. No one who says, “Don’t smoke,” — they don’t say, “Don’t breathe.” They say, “Don’t smoke.” They don’t say, “Don’t inhale.” They say, “Don’t inhale smoke.”
No one here is saying, “Don’t eat.” Obviously, we say the exact opposite, right Carrie? We say, “Eat more but eat smarter.” The guidance is not — it’s absolutely the case that we can just say, “Don’t eat edible starches and sweets that cause obesity and disease,” just like we say, “Don’t smoke.” Everyone has to eat, just like everyone has to breathe, but you do not have to eat starches and sweets.
Carrie: You absolutely don’t.
Jonathon: The other argument that you may hear is, “Well, we have to feed the world.” That’s also crap, because you want to feed the world? Well, there’s no better source of calories than natural fats, right? Grains aren’t the only scalable plants in the world. Macadamia nuts, almonds, Brazil nuts — any kind of nut is a plant that provides a massive amount of calories, is not hormonally harmful, does not cause obesity, does not cause diabetes and provides an abundance of fiber and required nutrients. So there really is no defense other than money, money, money.
But Carrie, some things are more important than profits. I think people dying and suffering on a level of billions and billions of dollars and hundreds of millions of people globally is just time to take action.
Carrie: I’m with you. That’s why I spend all day making stuff up.
Jonathon: When you say making stuff up, you mean making up recipes, not…
Carrie: Making up recipes that taste better than the stuff people typically eat.
Jonathon: I love it. Listeners, I hope if anything — I know if you listen to this show, you’re already motivated and you’re already passionate about living your best life and helping people live theirs. But if you needed any more motivation, not only have you hopefully already destroyed your scale — and by the way, if you haven’t already destroyed your scale, take a friend out in your backyard, have them hold up your cell phone, videotape yourself beating the heck out of your scale and post that up on YouTube and let us know. Because we need to just start a worldwide freedom push from these scales, and then we also need to motivate ourselves to be socially responsible at this point and literally heal the world, because we are in need of it.
Carrie: Yes.
Jonathon: Sound good?
Carrie: You’re absolutely right.
Jonathon: Well friends, on that note, remember, eat smarter, exercise smarter, and live better. We’ll chat with you soon.
Carrie: See ya.

[Audio Ends 22:05]

This week Carrie and I cover some shocking new data on sugar.