A day late and a dollar short? – Australia’s peak health bodies decide sugar is unhealthy (but only when added to fizzy water).

The week before last the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council and Diabetes Australia declared war on sugar. But before you break out the party poppers you should know that it wasn’t so much an all-out assault as a slap with a wet tram ticket. And the Dietitians Association couldn’t even be bothered getting out the tram ticket, moist or otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see such august bodies uniting behind an anti-sugar campaign. It’s just a pity the message is so riddled with caveats, exceptions and contradictions as to render it almost completely ineffective. Or was that the point?

The campaigning trio called for action on sugary drinks by “governments, schools and non-government organisations such as sports centres.”

Kellie-Ann Jolly, acting CEO of the Heart Foundation urged the Federal Government to “implement restrictions to reduce children’s exposure to marketing of sugary drinks.” She went on to suggest that State governments should also limit the sale of sugary drinks in schools and sporting grounds.

The CEO of Diabetes Australia, Greg Johnson, wanted even more direct action, calling for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.  The call to action was because these drinks are “associated with a range of serious health issues including weight gain and obesity, which in turn are risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular (heart) disease and cancer.”

The sugar in soft drinks must be magic. You see when it’s mixed with water it apparently makes you fat and gives you diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But when the very same sugar constitutes 72% of a children’s lunch box snack it is so healthful that it deserves a great big Heart Foundation Tick of approval. And when it makes up almost a third of Uncle Toby’s Oat Gourmet Selections or Kellogg’s Just Right breakfast cereal it gets a tick as well.

But the real sign of its magicness is that it is not always dangerous even when the only other significant ingredient is still just water. Fruit Juice is sugar and water but that is not on the radar of the newly minted crusaders against sugary drinks. Apparently sugar molecules that were once part of a piece of fruit are not evil but those that were once part of a piece of sugar cane (despite being chemically identical) are deserving of taxation and prohibition.

Soft drink is an easy target. No-one is suffering under the impression that a can of Pepsi is health food and not even the Beverage Association at its most brazen would attempt to convince us that it is.

Confected rage on the part of the magnificent three is token (at best) for as long as they continue to ignore (or endorse, in the Heart Foundation’s case) the vast majority of sugar we are sold under the label ‘health food’.
Sugar is sugar. It’s just as dangerous when it’s the primary ingredient in a Heart Foundation approved children’s snack as it is when it’s sloshing around in a bottle of Coke. The Heart Foundation in particular robs this campaign of any shred of credibility for as long as it accepts payment from the processed food industry to endorse their sugar filled ‘health’ food.

The evidence supporting the campaign has been available to these organisations since at least 2007. Despite this, the Heart Foundation in particular has publicly and actively denied that sugar presented any health problem at all. Indeed as recently as 2011 they said“based on the current level of evidence, sugar is not directly linked to [heart disease], diabetes, or obesity.” That’s right, the exact opposite of what they now say about the sugar in soft drinks.

They must have found their library card because now it appears they’ve finally caught up with decades of research and mustered the gumption to acknowledge (some of) that evidence – albeit in half-hearted and non-revenue-endangering fashion.

The research on dietary sugar intake is just as damning as the evidence that has now convinced them to act on soft drink. Sugar doesn’t suddenly become dangerous when combined with water and bubbles. It’s dangerous all the time.
How many people million more people need to suffer from the lifelong debilitation (of Type II Diabetes) caused by the sugar added to everything we eat before Diabetes Australia is prepared to accept that evidence. How many more deaths from Heart Disease need to occur before the Heart Foundation is prepared to bite the corporate hand that feeds it?

Until those who are supposed to care, stand up and acknowledge the obvious, the suffering will continue. Until the Heart Foundation are prepared to say no to corporate sponsorship and demand action on all sugar, their gormless flailing at the easy targets will render them less and less relevant. In this age of profit driven, processed food we need real, independent advocates not corporate flunkies.

Image courtesy of Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Join the discussion 20 Comments

  • Formerfattie says:

    Surely all this fuss about sugar is crazy talk, David. After all, the highest-profile nutritionists in the land – Dr Alan Barclay and Professor Jennie Brand-Miller of the University of Sydney – have documented “a consistent and substantial decline” in sugar consumption over the 30 years to 2010, a time when obesity ballooned. Thus they concluded in a “peer reviewed” and published paper that there’s an “inverse relationship” between sugar consumption and obesity. That’s “The Australian Paradox” (Slides 8-23 at http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/22Slideshowaustraliangoestoparadoxcanberrafinal.pdf ).

    Accordingly, the ace nutritionists concluded on health policy that “The [Australian Paradox] findings challenge the implicit assumption that taxes and other measures to reduce intake of soft drinks will be an effective strategy in global efforts to reduce obesity” (http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/3/4/491 )

    So the University of Sydney scientists must think that the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council and Diabetes Australia have now all lost the plot on sugar. After all, it’s not a problem. There’s an “inverse relationship” – so eat less sugar and you well might get fatter.

    It is striking how confident the University of Sydney is that sugar is not a problem. After all, two of its most senior nutritionists absolutely bagged the National Health and Medical Research Council’s new tougher (draft) stance against added sugar: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/a-spoonful-of-sugar-is-not-so-bad/story-e6frg8y6-1226090126776

    Indeed, the authors of Australian Paradox are so confident that sugar is not a health hazard, that they operate a rather large business that generates revenues by stamping particular brands of sugar and sugary products as Healthy: p.10-11 of http://www.gisymbol.com/cmsAdmin/uploads/Glycemic-Index-Foundation-Healthy-Choices-Brochure.pdf

    As an economist watching high-profile nutritionists at work, David, I’ve always struggled to identify when they are wearing their business hats and when they are wearing their scientist hats. You’re a lawyer, do you have a better sense of the demarcation? It must have become very complicated a couple of years ago when one of the authors of Australian Paradox put on a “Guest Editor” hat to oversee its publication in the journal Nutrients: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/nutrients/special_issues/carbohydrates

  • Big Fat Lies says:

    Once again David, it seems that the only way you can truly go after Australian Health Bodies is to misrepresent their position! We’ve already been through this when you falsely claimed that Australian Health Bodies don’t have a position on sugar http://davidgillespiesbigfatlies.com/117/australian-health-bodies-do-have-positions-on-sugar-and-they-all-suggest-reducing-intake/ and now you again want to suggest that these bodies didn’t have a position on sugar sweetened beverages. For a recap, The National Heart Foundation and Diabetes Australia both suggest that people reduce their sugar intake, treat things like sugar sweetened beverages as occasional foods but you don’t seem to be able to recognise anything but your own extreme and unsupported view.
    It is you, David, that takes research studies on sugar-sweetened beverages and incorrectly tries to extrapolate that to all sugar containing products. I’m not sure why you can’t understand that ‘the dose makes the poison’. After all you have you own made up figures on what levels of sugars people should have on labels and what their upper daily intake should be. Yet other bodies who adapt a similar position (albeit with differing levels) seem to be vilified based on your standard black and white unsupported view of these topics.
    It is still a mystery why you choose to categorise foods based on the percentage by weight of sugar. Any product that is mostly water has its contents literally diluted and doesn’t seem as bad as a solid food product. It is actually a trick that food manufacturers use to make their products seem ‘more healthy’ (which also includes manipulating serving sizes). That way you get to make ridiculous comparisons as you did on Facebook comparing soft drinks to breakfast cereals.

    I’ll try to spell it out for you (AGAIN) David, Australian Health bodies are basing their recommendations on the literature that talks about sugar sweetened beverages as well as the quantity PER SERVE! So your comparison of a soft drink that is 10% sugar by weight but 37.5g per 375ml serve and a breakfast cereal that is 30% but 9g per 30g serve is ridiculous (and that isn’t considering the other ‘standards’ of the Heart Foundation Tick such as fibre content and delivery of other nutrients). If you want to question the accuracy of the serving size, that would be a legitimate criticism, but representing figures this way is being less than honest!
    While I agree that fruit juices should be added to the campaign, their justification is also based on serving sizes, which again doesn’t seem to register in your black and white view on the topic.
    As food manufacturers find ways around any labelling laws, one could easily follow your suggestions and add 3g to every 100ml of water and receive YOUR tick of approval. To be even more ridiculous, we could add glucose or maybe your ‘suggested’ drink of the original form of Lucozade and get a pass. It is a pity that you (true to form) cherry pick parts of research that you endorse.
    We won’t mention (as you haven’t) that the BMJ article from this year Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies that you love to quote showing increasing sugar intake results in weight gain and decreasing it results in weight loss (see it DOESN’T need to be eliminated), also showed that swapping out sugar for other carbohydrates, let alone other macronutrients, didn’t seem to make a difference!

  • Big Fat Lies says:

    While I don’t necessarily endorse the Heart Foundation Tick program, I understand what they are attempting to do. Trying to help people choose the best of a bad bunch (eg best type of pizza or pies) can be taken as an actual endorsement of that food being healthy is the problem. But after hearing your recent announcement on the Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Podcast of a new book to be released in England that lists ‘better’ version of common foods such as ice creams and cookies, you could hardly be critical of such a program. Similarly your Quit Plan book has recipes for ice cream, cakes, muffins and biscuits!
    Yes, some of the foods that the get the Heart Foundation Tick are questionable, as is you supplying recipes for foods such as biscuits, slices and icing. Not sure why your ‘one strike and you’re out policy’ means that a few questionable foods means that there program should be ignored (or small issues with Glycemic Index means it is useless). Your promotion of swapped-out glucose recipes is certainly a far stretch from people shopping around the outside of the supermarket, returning to natural, whole foods etc. Should you be throwing stones considering the metaphoric house you live in David?
    The most ridiculous part of your side-recipe business (complete with books and annual subscription fees) is that it contradicts the document that you most often misquote as damning evidence against sugar. The AHA position stand on sugar, not only clearly states that it refers to added sugars (and thus fruit isn’t included), it also states that recommendations are based on a percentage of discretionary calories and not an upper limit on our ability to utilise or digest sugar/fructose (another of your constant misrepresentations). The other bit of the paper that you conveniently ignore, is that it is referring to all sugars, so swapping out fructose for dextrose or glucose isn’t exempting your recipes from their recommendations.
    ANOTHER part of the document that you also conveniently don’t include in your ‘testimony’ which is relevant to this topic, is the difference between liquid and solid calories on appetite. Your frequent over-simplification of appetite control, where you state that fructose doesn’t register with your appetite control system (and ignore contrary evidence) or the fact that it is almost always eaten with glucose and thus there is a net effect – also doesn’t differentiate between solid and liquid calories. Follow the references in the document such as Liquid versus solid carbohydrate: effects on food intake and body weight. Int J Obesity. 2000;24:794–800 and you will see that solid and liquid sugars may have DIFFERENT effects so appetite (even Jelly beans let alone those added to other foods).
    I am always impressed with your ability to spin and misrepresent a statement – an old lawyer trick? As stated in my previous debunking of your position, the Heart Foundation have always recommended against soft drinks as long as I can remember. Thirty seconds on their website will confirm this. You inability to tell the difference between the statements “that sugar presented any health problem at all” and ““based on the current level of evidence, sugar is not directly linked to [heart disease], diabetes, or obesity” is also alarming.
    Do you seriously read ‘not directly link’ and hear it as ‘any health problem at all’ (and also ignore context and quantity that they are talking about) or is another spinning trick? It actually isn’t the opposite of what they are saying David – maybe YOU could show a DIRECT link between them, especially in people who are very active? You didn’t provide any links to any research to disprove this statement.
    It is still amazing to me the amount of research you have to ignore to maintain your ‘all or nothing’ position on this topic David, especially when some of it is contained within documents and studies that you claim support your extreme position.

  • Formerfattie says:

    Hi Rory (former fattie) here. Yes, David Driscoll, the dose does indeed make the poison. That’s the problem: modern diets are swimming in sugar. Blind Freddie – and now the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council and Diabetes Australia – can see that hapless population after population after population across the globe started to eat heaps of added sugar as they made the transition from stone-age to modern, from subsistence to abundance, from rich to poor, from skinny to fat and from healthy to diabetic (see chart at http://www.australianparadox.com/part-2 ).

    In Australia last year, amusingly, the University of Sydney’s business associates at the sugar industry helpfully produced a new dataset confirming that Australian sugar consumption has increased – not declined – over the past quarter-century (see chart in next link).

    No doubt the sugar industry’s estimates greatly underestimate the actual level of consumption, but even those underestimates confirm that the trend in sugar consumption over recent decades is up not down.

    The irony is the sugar industry was attempting to rescue – not bury – its underperforming business partners (see above) – and their spectacularly faulty Australian Paradox paper – but in the process confirmed that the University of Sydney “shonky sugar study’s claim of a “consistent and substantial decline” in sugar consumption is hopelessly wrong.

    That is, the sugar industry inadvertently put another nail in the credibility of Dr Alan Barclay and Professor Brand-Miller’s research “finding” that falsely exonerated added sugar as a key driver of obesity (and thus diabetes).

    Yes, the sugar industry itself confirmed that the pro-sugar low-GI crew’s Australian Paradox “finding” is as credible as a $3 note (see chart at http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/JBM-AWB-AustralianParadox.pdf ).

    For relationships between the sugar industry and the University of Sydney, that’s a disappointing case of “friendly fire”. The University of Sydney had haplessly embraced the sugar industry’s new data as “independent” and reliable; one silly sausage – one also not very good at reading simple charts – even argued that the authors of Australian Paradox had been “vindicated” by the sugar industry’s new sugar series: http://scepticalnutritionist.com.au/?p=514

    For many of the rest of us, the sugar industry’s accidental confirmation that the University of Sydney’s efforts to prove that sugar is not a health hazard have been clownish represents maybe its most useful contribution to public health in over half a century.

    That is, it’s fascinating to read about how “Big Sugar” in the US deliberately set out in the 1950s to scramble and mislead science on the links between modern sugar consumption and chronic diseases.

    On the way, Harvard University in the 1960s and 1970s became America’s “most public defender” of “modern sugar consumption” as harmless, its “science” corrupted by heavy funding from the sugar and sugary food industries: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/sugar-industry-lies-campaign

    It’s all very interesting, David D. and David G. Do you guys have any insights on what is going on between the University of Sydney and the local sugar industry? Am I right to worry that linkages between the sugar industry and academia – in this case, the University of Sydney – are not necessarily good for public health?

    David G., given that the University of Sydney remains busy collecting revenues with the help of its highest-profile nutritionists promoting sugar and sugary junkfoods as Healthy – p.10-11 of http://www.gisymbol.com/cmsAdmin/uploads/Glycemic-Index-Foundation-Healthy-Choices-Brochure.pdf – for me it is pleasing that the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council and Diabetes Australia finally have joined your “war on sugar”, starting with sugary softdrinks.

  • Formerfattie says:

    David D., when do you reckon the University of Sydney, the Australian Diabetes Council, Nutrition Australia and Dietitians Association of Australia will start to do the right thing and join with David G., Sarah Wilson, the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council and Diabetes Australia in declaring war on sugar?

  • Oh Rory, if only you could do your own research. Try going to their websites and see what their positions are on sugar and sugar sweetened beverages. I’m guessing the same as they were before you or David ‘saw the light’ about sugar!

    Since the National Heart Foundation and Diabetes Australia HAVEN’T changed their position, not sure where you are coming from. No doubt you see this in the same black and white position as David and think no one was talking about this before you arrived on the scene.

    Australian Paradox – yawn

  • Formerfattie says:

    Actually, David D., only about five minutes of “research” is required to confirm that the Australian Diabetes Council (ADC), the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and Nutrition Australia all are essentially pro-sugar in their outlook.

    Otherwise, they each would not have gone out of their way to promote on their websites the false and somewhat dangerous “Australian Paradox” claim that there is an inverse relationship in Australia between sugar consumption (down) and obesity (up):

    x http://daa.asn.au/for-the-media/hot-topics-in-nutrition/sugar-and-obesity/
    x http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/media-releases/response-david-gillespie-behalf-nut-net
    x http://www.australiandiabetescouncil.com/Media-and-publications/Latest-News/Response-to-toxic-fructose-article-recently-pu-(1).aspx

    A balanced, reliable public stance on added sugar in healthy everyday diets is completely inconsistent with the ongoing promotion of obviously false information about the link between modern doses of sugar consumption and obesity.

    To recap, Australia’s most trusted nutritionist – Dr Rosemary Stanton – has said of Dr Alan Barclay and Professor Jennie Brand-Miller’s now-infamous “shonky sugar study”: “And yes, I agree with you [Rory] that we have no evidence that sugar consumption in Australia has fallen. A walk around any supermarket shows that huge numbers of foods contains sugar. I argue this point frequently with colleagues”; “I have many objections to that particular paper and to the idea that sugar is not a problem”; and “I have expressed my opinion about the paper to the authors … I will almost certainly cite it at some stage as an example of something I consider to be incorrect” (Slides 18 and 19 at http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/22Slideshowaustraliangoestoparadoxcanberrafinal.pdf ).

    Yes, the University of Sydney’s obviously false “finding” on the link between modern sugar consumption and obesity – the Australian Paradox – is rubbished by Dr Rosemary Stanton and other notable observers (see Slide 26 in the previous link), yet the Australian Diabetes Council, the Dietitians Association of Australia and Nutrition Australia all continue to misinform hapless members of the public who come to them seeking reliable nutrition advice on this and other matters. What a disgrace.

    Behind the ADC’s and DAA’s unreasonable ongoing promotion of this misinformation on the link between modern sugar consumption and obesity, I suspect the unhealthy influence of Australian Paradox co-author Dr Alan Barclay, who – on top of his day job which involves promoting low-GI sugar and other sugary foods as Healthy: http://www.gisymbol.com/cmsAdmin/uploads/Glycemic-Index-Foundation-Healthy-Choices-Brochure.pdf – is “head of research” at the Australian Diabetes Council and an “official spokesperson” for the Dietitians Association of Australia (http://daa.asn.au/for-the-media/daa-spokespeople/about-daa-spokespeople/ ).

    In my opinion, none of these entities will have any credibility on public-health matters until they correct or retract the obvious ongoing misinformation seeking to exonerate modern sugar consumption as a key driver of obesity.

    On the Heart Foundation’s new policy, David D., I applaud its strong move in the right direction, its new “war on sugar” starting with sugary softdrinks. Unfortunately – as David G. has highlighted in this post – the Heart Foundation now finds itself in the silly position of claiming that added sugar in sugary softdrinks is a serious health hazard, but added sugar in sugary breakfast cereals is deserving of a heart-healthy Tick.

    Getting competent nutrition advice from should-be-reliable sources remains such a “hit and miss” affair, David D.. That probably explains why competent and unconflicted authors like David Gillespie and Sarah Wilson are selling so many books. The main mystery here, I reckon, is why the strong growth in their book sales has you so unsettled.

  • Formerfattie says:

    The sugar industry sells sugar. The University of Sydney sells stamps claiming low-GI sugar and sugary foods are Healthy. We all can understand why they don’t like Gillespie and Wilson slamming added sugar as a health hazard and encouraging everyday people to minimise consumption, or even – gasp! – to eliminate added sugar – completely! – from their diets.

    What I don’t get is why you – David Driscoll – are devoting so much of your spare time to seeking to discredit that simple and harmless advice – simple and harmless advice that has promoted profound reductions in weight and improvements in health for many thousands of people.

    What’s it all about David D.? What’s in it for you?

  • Rory, you are an idiot – they are pro sugar because of the Australian paradox? What a surprise that you manage to include your one trick in every discussion and want to make it relevant. Typical of your mindless black and white approach to everything!

    Already explained the difference between soft drinks and breakfast cereal – if you can’t tell the difference between 37.5g and 9g of sugar, I can’t help you. If you can’t understand that the dose makes the poison, the same.

    Your Question “David D., when do you reckon the University of Sydney, the Australian Diabetes Council, Nutrition Australia and Dietitians Association of Australia will start to do the right thing and join with David G., Sarah Wilson, the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council and Diabetes Australia in declaring war on sugar?”

    So you would like to see these bodies follow the same lead re sugar sweetened drinks?

    Let’s go to the websites and search for soft drink:


    While it is still important to limit foods which are concentrated sources of sugar, or high in added refined sugar, (e.g. soft drinks, lollies and syrups), small amounts of sugar can be included as part of a lower fat, high fibre meal for people with diabetes.

    Nutrition Australia also single out fruit juice too!


    As part of their Healthy Hydration campaign.



    These drinks are low in nutrition but can contain plenty of extra kilojoules which you may not need. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating considers these as ‘extra foods’; in other words, they are not needed in your diet and should be limited.
    Diet varieties may be lower in energy and sugar, but remember diet soft drinks can be quite acidic and too much of these drinks may contribute to tooth decay.

    What is the University of Sydney’s position on sugar, the whole University? What a stupid question.

    So there you have it. All of these bodies already have the same position on sugar sweetened drinks by your standard (assuming that the NHF, CC and DA have declared war on sugar). But your real agenda is the tiny sliver of evidence called the Australian paradox on which you think every aspect of the sugar debate hinges. Something that you and David seem to believe is an ‘all or nothing’ proposition. Your suggestion that this is important, let alone a piece of evidence that is pivotal, perfectly demonstrates your megalomania.

    As you can see they already support the position on soft drink – but you keep spinning reality and rejig the figures, like a good lawyer would to make THEIR case!

    My motivation, same as yours Rory I would guess, why do you ask? Looking for an ad hominem to distract from the massive holes in your argument? After all, your ‘poisoning the well’ logical fallacy is the basis of your Australian Paradox response, what a sad and ridiculous position!

  • Formerfattie says:

    David D., despite your latest spray, I remain genuinely mystified why you are so enthusiastic and prolific – both here and elsewhere – in your limp attacks on the anti-sugar crew.

    I’m mystified, because on your website you claim to be “a fan of science and the scientific process and dislike the dishonest or convenient use of research to support and agenda or sell a product”: http://davidgillespiesbigfatlies.com/about-me/

    That sounds fine, except that it obviously is not true. It’s not true because I have shown you an important “scientific” paper that is:

    (i) an academic disgrace: http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/22Slideshowaustraliangoestoparadoxcanberrafinal.pdf ;
    (ii) a menace to public health: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/research-causes-stir-over-sugars-role-in-obesity-20120330-1w3e5.html and http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& ;
    (iii) conveniently supportive of both an agenda and a product: p.10-11 at http://www.gisymbol.com/cmsAdmin/uploads/Glycemic-Index-Foundation-Healthy-Choices-Brochure.pdf ; and
    (iv) involving a somewhat fraudulent defence of the obviously faulty paper being featured on a University of Sydney website: http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/JBM-AWB-AustralianParadox.pdf and http://www.smh.com.au/business/pesky-economist-wont-let-big-sugar-lie-20120725-22pru.html

    David D, the Australian Paradox scandal has it all in terms of interest for a genuine “fan of science and the scientific process and [a] dislike [of] the dishonest or convenient use of research to support and agenda or sell a product”. It should be right up your alley. You and I should be comrades in arms on this matter.

    Yet when I have shown you this extraordinary scandal centred at a prestigious Group of Eight university just down the road, you go limp with disinterest.

    Above, you said, in full: “Australian Paradox – yawn”.

    I’m a bit bemused by that lack of enthusiasm. I thought you were fighting the good fight for integrity in science. But it turns out that’s not what you are doing. You are busy doing something else. Whatever it is that you are doing across the web, it appears to have little to do with any general mission to fix shonky science.

    Regardless, if you really can see “massive holes” in my argument – as you claim above – that the Australian Paradox paper is an academic disgrace, then I am all ears. Go for it.

    My thinking remains, however, that neither you nor anyone else has anything credible – anything credible – with which to dent the devastating critique of the University of Sydney’s “shonky sugar study” by Australia’s most-trusted nutritionist, Dr Rosemary Stanton: “And yes, I agree with you [Rory] that we have no evidence that sugar consumption in Australia has fallen…”; “I have many objections to that particular paper and to the idea that sugar is not a problem”; and “I have expressed my opinion about the paper to the authors … I will almost certainly cite it at some stage as an example of something I consider to be incorrect” (Slides 18 and 19 at http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/22Slideshowaustraliangoestoparadoxcanberrafinal.pdf ).

    But if you are confident that you can show Dr Rosemary Stanton doesn’t know what she is talking about on this matter – and that Professor Jennie Brand-Miller and Dr Alan Barclay’s high-profile Australian Paradox “finding” is correct, not hopelessly mistaken – then go for it. I look forward, David D., to your heavy-hitting rebuttal.


  • Blah Blah Blah Australian Paradox – keep trying to make it relevant.

    No comment AGAIN after being shown to be wrong on the statements of the other bodies?

    Nothing on why a position on your obsession makes someone pro-sugar?
    Or why The NHF, CC and DA are now NOT part of that group as you wait for the others to join in?

    Nothing on the AHA statement? Nothing on ANYTHING else around this debate? It’s all Australian Paradox for you – I pity you!

  • Formerfattie says:

    So, nothing at all David D., despite your pumped-up earlier claim of “massive holes” in my argument. Nope, not a sausage. Indeed, neither you nor anyone else has put a dent in Dr Rosemary Stanton’s critique that cratered the credibility of Professor Jennie Brand-Miller’s and Dr Alan Barclay’s false Australian-Paradox exoneration of added sugar as a serious health hazard in Australia.

    I must say, David D., I’m disappointed that you and others go all limp and silent when offered the opportunity to do something useful on this Australian Paradox scandal.

    Why not use some of your impressive energy to encourage the University of Sydney to start rebuilding its scientific integrity, by starting to refuse to tolerate false information being promoted in the public debate, false information promoted by ham-fisted nutritionists carrying the University of Sydney’s once-trusted stamp of credibility?

    Why is it, David D., that you have no problem with the University of Sydney’s highest-profile nutritionists and food-industry service providers poisoning the scientific record and public debate with obviously false information? You get all excited about what’s written in popular books and by randoms here and there on the internet, but you are not interested in seriously faulty “findings” being published as “peer reviewed” scientific fact by scientists from a prestigious Group of Eight university.

    At some point, defending an obviously false scientific “finding” with further false information – for example, at http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/JBM-AWB-AustralianParadox.pdf – elevates the matter into a case of scientific fraud.

    Do you think the University of Sydney’s influential authors have crossed that line yet, David D.? Anyone?

    As a consolation prize, David D., I want to congratulate you on your observation that I am a bit of a “one trick pony” in these discussions. That is correct. Yes, while it is unclear what you are up to, David D., and why, readers can be absolutely sure I am here for one simple reason: I am arguing near and far for the correction or retraction of the clownish Australian Paradox paper, a paper incompetently and somewhat fraudulently defended by the University of Sydney: http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/JBM-AWB-AustralianParadox.pdf ; http://www.smh.com.au/business/pesky-economist-wont-let-big-sugar-lie-20120725-22pru.html

    Is what I am doing unreasonable? Please – anyone who thinks I am doing the wrong thing on this Australian Paradox matter – be very critical of my analysis. Please hammer me on anything factually incorrect or simply unreasonable in my well-documented “statement of facts”: http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/22Slideshowaustraliangoestoparadoxcanberrafinal.pdf

    Does anyone have a strong view that Dr Barclay was absolutely correct to accuse me publicly of being a criminal “Troll”? (p. 2 in http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/Update-AustralianParadox-Dec2012-27.pdf ).

    Finally, is Dr Barclay’s definition of “Troll” and his claim that I am a criminal more relevant in this matter than standard definitions of “fraud” and evidence (see links) that the University of Sydney’s highest-profile nutritionists are misrepresenting facts in their somewhat fraudulent defence of their obviously faulty paper?

  • “So, nothing at all David D., despite your pumped-up earlier claim of “massive holes” in my argument.”

    What? Can you not read anything I’ve said.

    Go back to your assumption on who is and isn’t supporting action on sugar sweetened beverages. What they are saying and how long they have said it for, then say I’ve said nothing.

    No point in discussing anything with someone so dishonest!

    Look beyond our pet project for a minute and note you’ve gotten in wrong on Taubes and Lustig and pretty much anything fructose related.

    Got ANYTHING outside of the Australian Paradox?

    “I must say, David D., I’m disappointed that you and others go all limp and silent when offered the opportunity to do something useful on this Australian Paradox scandal. “

    Of course you are, you feel inadequate and irrelevant. You crave the spotlight, I understand. My three year old also likes a lot of attention!

  • Rory,

    Anyone that have followed this debate just a little will notice that David Driscoll is always one of the first to comment on any major article on the internet that says anything negative about sugar or sports drinks. He has ties with Gatorade and used to work for them. I have NEVER seen him comment something positive on ANY research showing that sugar, especially fructose, might be bad for your health. He works closely with other “bought by industry” RD’s and nutritional “experts” in coordinating a social media pro sugar campain.

    Don’t feed the true trolls !

  • “David Driscoll is always one of the first to comment on any major article on the internet that says anything negative about sugar or sports drinks.”

    Oh please, slight exaggeration? Never seen me say that most people need to reduce their sugar intake or is everything also black and white in YOUR world.

    “He has ties with Gatorade and used to work for them.”

    Really, used to work for them? I have worked for Sports Dietitians Australia and Gatorade is/was a sponsor, is that what you meant? Have done lectures for SDA for which they were a sponsor – is that what you meant?

    Went to GSSI once and was bought lunch after getting a tour. Probably got a few drinks in a bag at a fitness expo or conference. Also helping out friends with their internet marketing who own restaurants and a cake business (so I got some free cakes and probably a soft drink which contain sugar).

    Worked for Sydney Kings in strength and conditioning and I think one of their sponsors was Coke – are these the lines of evidence you use to ignore evidence?

    Any similar conflicts of interest for your gurus? Any comment on sponsor of associations Tim Noakes belongs to? Companies who have sponsored his research? He spoke at a conference organised by Sports Dietitians Australia last year – comments?

    Same for Jeff Volek, who is a member of ADA also? Protein companies that have sponsored research? His patent?

    How about David Gillespie who lectured at the Aussie Low Carb Event and doesn’t eat Low Carb?

    I don’t think any of these mean everything they say should be ignored (or is even releavnt), but maybe someone as ignorant and scientifically illiterate as yourself feels it is the only way to inject yourself into conversation and impress your gurus!

    If you can just dismiss someone outright without even addressing what they say, you can maintain your cognitive dissonance and think that is they way to debate – I can’t help you!

    Let me know if you EVER want to talk about the evidence and stick to topic without going the ad hominem route.

    “I have NEVER seen him comment something positive on ANY research showing that sugar, especially fructose, might be bad for your health.”

    Well if you haven’t seen it, it must not happen – amazing arrogance!

    “He works closely with other “bought by industry” RD’s and nutritional “experts” in coordinating a social media pro sugar campain.”

    Works closely? Co-ordinating a campaign? Any evidence for any of this? Or will you just disappear like you did on Twitter

    You are a fool and a coward trying to make himself relevant. Too bad!

  • A little thought about this: most of the energy supplements contain sugar because they’re set into thinking that the body needs calories that will be the source of energy when we exercise – although this is somewhat true, I think it doesn’t apply to every kind of diet. There are supplements that are sugar-free but can give you enough energy to workout. Do you know what kind of alternative they use for that?

    Jean R

  • Sugar intake must be in moderation. This is to avoid any unwanted disease that may occur such as having a diabetes or whatsoever. It is like taking any health supplement, all in moderation.

    Matthew Lambert

  • Just an additional detail from a person who works in a clinic; most patients who walk in suffer from illnesses that are related to sugar. I’m not saying ‘all’ of them, but it’s a large number. We should be cautious with our sugar intake because, as we all know, researches have proven its negative effects on our health.

    Poppy Cascarret

  • Formerfattie says:

    David Driscoll (aka “Big Fat Lies”),

    Do you have any news on whether the University of Sydney’s Dr Alan Barclay and Professor Jennie Brand-Miller are planning to correct or retract their extraordinarily faulty Australian Paradox paper in 2013? Or do you think they will continue recklessly pretending their paper is flawless, thus exaggerating their evidence that added sugar is harmless in modern doses? http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/GraphicEvidence.pdf

    Rory Robertson

  • sam son says:


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