But I did not really want to focus on cancer -- I do, however, recommend that you read Davis's book to learn more, if interested. I wanted to talk about obesity instead. I recently came upon this statement from the very reputable Cochrane Collaboration, an academic group that synthesizes the vast expanses of medical literature into manageable reports: "T
Interestingly, research suggests that high fructose corn syrup, the generic sweetener du jour that children and adults guzzle by the pound daily in their sodas, juices, candy and cookies, is sweeter than regular sugar and thus more palatable to the human animal, resulting in higher amounts consumed. Could this be one of the causes of our obesity epidemic? Is bariatric surgery with its expense and risks really the most obvious (not to mention cost-effective) answer? Well, how about studies that link television watching among our children to unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise, thus resulting in a climb of the BMI among the youngest members of our society? Bariatric surgery again?
So why, you ask, was the evidence for cancer-causing chemicals kept secret for decades, and how is it relevant to the obesity problem? As you can imagine, many chemical manufacturers would have had substantial economic losses had this evidence come to light sooner. Even today, because studies linking exposure to certain substances with development of cancer are epidemiologic in nature, and thus cannot prove causality beyond the shadow of a doubt, evidence is conveniently twisted and discarded by the clever legal structure created around this type of litigation: a strong suggestion of causality is not enough to inject caution into the use of these compounds. In a similar vein, we do not want to hear that it is the way we eat and live that has created the obscenely pervasive obesity epidemic. Why should we, when we have pills and surgery to combat it? After all, this approach does not take the profit away from the manufacturers of high fructose corn syrup (also benefitting from our tax dollars dumped as subsidies into growing corn monocultures), and in fact it creates a market for new instrumentation and procedures for the vast healthcare industry. Prevention? "That is not economically feasible." Let's cut the crap! Prevention takes political will, which we do not seem to have at the moment, as we are all too busy having our cake and eating it too, particularly since life is sweeter with high fructose corn syrup.