Soda and Tobacco
Healthists are now making a public push to declare carbonated beverages "the new cigarettes."
In reports to be published in science journals this week, two groups of researchers hope to add evidence to the theory that soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks don't just go hand-in-hand with obesity, but actually cause it. Not that these drinks are the only cause -- genetics, exercise and other factors are involved -- but that they are one cause, perhaps the leading cause.
A small point? In reality, proving this would be a scientific leap that could help make the case for higher taxes on soda, restrictions on how and where it is sold -- maybe even a surgeon general's warning on labels.
"We've done it with cigarettes," said one scientist advocating this, Barry Popkin at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Note how the article is quick to disparage any researchers who dare to disagree as either in the minority, unrespected, or on the take from the soda or sweetener industries. Meanwhile, the researchers demonizing soda are generally left alone. No mention of the booming public health industry, which incentivizes hysterical claims and punishes scientists who take more reasoned approaches. Also no mention of the fact that many of the most prominent anti-obesity researchers get a ton of money from the pharmaceutical industry, which just happens to have a slew of diet drugs in the pipeline.
Yes, the latter is an ad hominem attack. But if the media's going to portray one side of this debate as being on the take, it ought to do its research on the other side, too.
Hat tip: http://www.theagitator.com/
Whats next? M&M's, Red Bull, ?