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12/03/14

Sugar rushed: Drinking soda is bad but does it need to be celebrated?

More than a decade ago, an unknown named Morgan Spurlock showed the world through his documentary "Supersize Me" just what would happen to the average person if they ate McDonald's all day, every day for 30 days.
The results were staggering, and Spurlock, in turn, became a fast food icon for not only chronicling his declining health and weight gain as a result of this film but his willingness to show, not tell, just how poorly constructed the food is at McDonald's from a fat and calorie content.
Obviously in the film, Spurlock quickly fell ill from eating the food at McDonald's for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and some argue that McDonald's felt the pressure so much so that they started to be more open and honest about the calorie and nutritional content of the food in question.
Here's the only issue with Spurlock's documentary: It isn't realistic. And this in no way absolves McDonald's of responsibility for at least disclosing to the general public what they're eating from a nutrition standpoint. Most of what comprises McDonald's menu wouldn't realistically be considered healthy.
But the average consumer doesn't eat McDonald's 120 times in one month, which is essentially what Spurlock did for his show and tell of sorts. Naturally, you're going to put on a ton of weight ingesting apple pies, McMuffins and French fries multiple times per day.

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What Spurlock did was show that McDonald's food was, indeed, bad for you but more so in a way that if you crammed five years worth of fast food into a 30 day time period, almost rushing to deliver a product well before it would actually come to pass.
Again, McDonald's isn't totally off the hook, but what Spurlock did can be dissected to show that excess is bad, but who really follows that path to that degree.
A few days ago, another person took to the internet to do something similar to what Spurlock did 10 years previously, only with a slightly different skew to it. He drank 10 cans of coke per day for 30 days.
Guess what happened? Yes, of course, he gained weight.
That isn't exactly a revelation given the amount of sugar you have in just one can of Coke. The only saving grace of the 10 cans of Coke in 30 days project is that some people might drink 3 or 4 cans per day, every day, which at least gets the 30 day, realistic total to a number (90-120) that is somewhat comparable to the 300 cans from this experiment.
With that, why not just do a study that shows what happens when you drink 4 cans per day? Wouldn't the end result be a little more realistic than something in the neighborhood of a dozen cans?
But in the end, the declaration that the sugary soft drink Coke is bad, much like McDonald's years earlier, is both obvious and backed by over indulgences rather than simply explaining what we already know.
Sugar and fat over a realistic course of time isn't healthy. The idea of celebrating that notion falls flatter than that can of Coke you just put down and decided not to drink.

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