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Is Sugar Toxic?
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
Let me put it another way: If we were discussing the ill-effects of red meat and we were trying to see how much red meat Americans consume on average, would it be more or less accurate to include vegetarians and other non-beef consumers in the survey?


uh....more accurate?

If you want to find out how much red meat most Americans eat then it would be retarded to exclude those who don't eat meat. Normal distributions being what they are the average you get is going to be more than what the actual majority of people are eating.

[img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8c/Standard_deviation_diagram.svg[/img]


You do realise that by cutting of one end of the scale that you shift your "average" towards the other end even though according to MATH most people do not consume that much sugar/red meat/penises?
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly! That's why the statistics community is slowly starting to change its views. Samples don't always accurately reflect surveys. Not everything is a bell curve.

Seriously, there was some ground breaking stuff that was just published this year that basically says two things A) 2% just doesn't cut it often enough and B) Bell Curves are over used

I'm off to look for it.

**************

On topic: In an article examining consumption of a dangerous substance, why would you include those who don't (or consume so little they effectively don't) consume it?

Like I said before, the article posting the average amount of sugar americans consume is misleading, what we should be asking is:
Quote:
'Of those Americans who consume more than zero (or nearly so) amounts of sugar, what is the average amount of sugar consumed'.

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Usagi Miyamoto



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that's a very useful number. My cousin just posted a joke on Facebook: "The average human eats eight spiders over a lifetime, 'cause I just ate 48 billion of them."

I'm more interested in the non-linear aspects of sugar/fructose consumption. Lots of people consume plenty of sugar without apparent weight gain, while others just balloon. Yet sometimes there are skinny people with fatty livers and atherosclerosis, and aerobically fit fat people with no arterial disease. There are all these correlations but are there tipping points? Cascade effects? Co-factors? That old chestnut about correlation not implying causation gets bandied about a lot when discussing these epidemiological studies, but we can't forget the converse; causation definitely does lead to correlation.

Contemplating a life without sugar just makes me sad.

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Dogen



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
Let me put it another way: If we were discussing the ill-effects of red meat and we were trying to see how much red meat Americans consume on average, would it be more or less accurate to include vegetarians and other non-beef consumers in the survey?

This is different from this:
Quote:
Like I said before, the article posting the average amount of sugar americans consume is misleading, what we should be asking is:
Quote:
'Of those Americans who consume more than zero (or nearly so) amounts of sugar, what is the average amount of sugar consumed'.

If you ask how much meat Americans eat, then your sample has to be representative of all of them. Period. Your problem isn't with the sample, it's with the question. Stop talking about the meaningfulness of samples. Talk about your problem with the question being asked.
Quote:
Samples don't always accurately reflect surveys.

This sentence makes no sense. Did you mean samples don't always accurately reflect populations? Because we have confidence levels for that.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usagi Miyamoto wrote:
I don't think that's a very useful number. My cousin just posted a joke on Facebook: "The average human eats eight spiders over a lifetime, 'cause I just ate 48 billion of them."

I'm more interested in the non-linear aspects of sugar/fructose consumption. Lots of people consume plenty of sugar without apparent weight gain, while others just balloon. Yet sometimes there are skinny people with fatty livers and atherosclerosis, and aerobically fit fat people with no arterial disease. There are all these correlations but are there tipping points? Cascade effects? Co-factors? That old chestnut about correlation not implying causation gets bandied about a lot when discussing these epidemiological studies, but we can't forget the converse; causation definitely does lead to correlation.

Contemplating a life without sugar just makes me sad.


You know, I can't tell you much about this, except that body type aside, the single factor that is negatively correlated with almost every health deficit is exercise. The number of genetic, environmental and behavioral factors involved in a person's health are astronomical (in psych we round this to "impossible," because we're a social science). They can tell you what factors correlate with increased risks (such as that brushing your teeth is negatively correlated with heart disease, but the effect peaks at twice a day), and what risks correlate with other risks (if you have one of diabetes, Crohn's or MS you're more likely to develop another of the three), but the number of co-factors in the development of a single illness could be unimaginably large.

Still, there are certain factors for which the correlations are higher than others... and you might call those tipping points or cascades. Being overweight, smoking, having high cholesterol, diets high in sodium and having high blood pressure are all significant factors in the development of heart disease, for instance. If you're a fatty who smokes and eats badly, you're a perfect candidate. Not that skinny, atheltic non-smokers never get CHF or ACS, of course, but that leads us back to all the things we can't control for.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usagi Miyamoto wrote:
I don't think that's a very useful number. My cousin just posted a joke on Facebook: "The average human eats eight spiders over a lifetime, 'cause I just ate 48 billion of them."

I'm more interested in the non-linear aspects of sugar/fructose consumption. Lots of people consume plenty of sugar without apparent weight gain, while others just balloon. Yet sometimes there are skinny people with fatty livers and atherosclerosis, and aerobically fit fat people with no arterial disease. There are all these correlations but are there tipping points? Cascade effects? Co-factors? That old chestnut about correlation not implying causation gets bandied about a lot when discussing these epidemiological studies, but we can't forget the converse; causation definitely does lead to correlation.

My real issue is that in an article presenting consumption of something as a health risk by including those who don't (or nearly don't) consume said something it is misleading; as I read it the article is saying "OMG! Look how much sugar we eat!" when in actuality the number is probably higher i.e. more people could be placing themselves at risk than they realize.

Also there's what I said on page 1:

Quote:
Also, is it just 'sugar consumed' or is it 'sugar processed by the the body'. things like simple starches and alcohol are going to up the overall amount of sugar molecules actually being processed.


I'd really like to know since my own wife has not only a vicious sweet tooth but also has a family history of heart problems and various types of cancer.

I wonder if the sugar issue could be something like a decreased reliance upon endogenic heat sources. We'd have to see all kinds of data from multiple climates, gene pools, and socioeconomic strata. I guess the same could also be said for cooling so it's perhaps the reliance on exogenic sources of thermoregulation in general that could be a tipping point.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
as I read it the article is saying "OMG! Look how much sugar we eat!" when in actuality the number is probably higher i.e. more people could be placing themselves at risk than they realize.


well, if you just look at the numbers, even including people who eat no sugar, the average american is still eating a whole lot of sugar. that, to me, is the point of that figure.

but obviously you can't completely characterize a population with just one number. if you do present just one, you have to be really clear what that number is. to my mind, they were clear about what that number was: it was a mean, and the mean has to include everyone. the fact that it isn't the number _you_ want is another issue entirely.
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Unnamed?



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand where Darq is coming from. If his intention is to examine the bad effects of sugar, then it wouldn't be unreasonable to at least have part of your analysis set non-sugar users as an exclusion group. Most peoples' problems with Darq's argument are something along the lines of, "it doesn't accurately represent the American population", which is true. However, it seems Darq doesn't want to examine the entire American population. He's looking at the people who are positive for a certain risk factor (glucose intake) to determine the bad effects of that risk. I'm not sure if there would be much point because, as people have mentioned already, the number is to generalized and unwieldy to make much of a conclusion regardless of whether you include or exclude the non-sugar eaters group.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
Exactly! That's why the statistics community is slowly starting to change its views. Samples don't always accurately reflect surveys. Not everything is a bell curve.

Seriously, there was some ground breaking stuff that was just published this year that basically says two things A) 2% just doesn't cut it often enough and B) Bell Curves are over used

I'm off to look for it.

**************

On topic: In an article examining consumption of a dangerous substance, why would you include those who don't (or consume so little they effectively don't) consume it?

Like I said before, the article posting the average amount of sugar americans consume is misleading, what we should be asking is:
Quote:
'Of those Americans who consume more than zero (or nearly so) amounts of sugar, what is the average amount of sugar consumed'.


The thing is that in this case the figure isn't meant to show you how bad sugar is for you but show you how prevalent overconsumption of sugar is.

As mouse pointed out, what they gave you is the mean. To get the mean you have to include everybody.

As an example: Say you want to know how prevalent marijuana-consumption is in the US. You have a survey with several choices (daily, weekly, monthly, once, never etc) and have people fill it out. Now why would you be helped by excluding the non-smokers from your result if your purpose is to get an accurate picture of how much the average american uses?
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Usagi Miyamoto



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like the Slashdot crowd has taken a look at the story. The usual heat to light ratios apply. (I usually have it set to display comments rated at 5 in full and 4 and 3 in abbreviated mode, unless I have some mod points to play with.)

I have only watched ten minutes of Dr. Lustig's video, and I think I need to correct that when I have time.
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeeze, Darq, did you just read a story about statistics donating to a homeless shelter or something?
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taking things one step further:

Sugar Should Be Regulated As Toxin, Researchers Say

http://news.yahoo.com/sugar-regulated-toxin-researchers-180605186.html
Quote:
A spoonful of sugar might make the medicine go down. But it also makes blood pressure and cholesterol go up, along with your risk for liver failure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Sugar and other sweeteners are, in fact, so toxic to the human body that they should be regulated as strictly as alcohol by governments worldwide, according to a commentary in the current issue of the journal Nature by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
The researchers propose regulations such as taxing all foods and drinks that include added sugar, banning sales in or near schools and placing age limits on purchases.

Although the commentary might seem straight out of the Journal of Ideas That Will Never Fly, the researchers cite numerous studies and statistics to make their case that added sugar — or, more specifically, sucrose, an even mix of glucose and fructose found in high-fructose corn syrup and in table sugar made from sugar cane and sugar beets — has been as detrimental to society as alcohol and tobacco.


And then it goes into high gear. I kinda like the idea of giving companies incentives to make our foods healthier.

Quote:
Lustig, a medical doctor in UCSF's Department of Pediatrics, compares added sugar to tobacco and alcohol (coincidentally made from sugar) in that it is addictive, toxic and has a negative impact on society, thus meeting established public health criteria for regulation. Lustig advocates a consumer tax on any product with added sugar.

Among Lustig's more radical proposals are to ban the sale of sugary drinks to children under age 17 and to tighten zoning laws for the sale of sugary beverages and snacks around schools and in low-income areas plagued by obesity, analogous to alcoholism and alcohol regulation.

Economists, however, debate as to whether a consumer tax — such as a soda tax proposed in many U.S. states — is the most effective means of curbing sugar consumption. Economists at Iowa State University led by John Beghin suggest taxing the sweetener itself at the manufacturer level, not the end product containing sugar.

This concept, published last year in the journal Contemporary Economic Policy, would give companies an incentive to add less sweetener to their products. After all, high-fructose corn syrup is ubiquitous in food in part because it is so cheap and serves as a convenient substitute for more high-quality ingredients, such as fresher vegetables in processed foods.

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Arc Tempest



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The United States Should Annex Belgium - Plant Douglas-Fir There, Researcher Says
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, don't be a fucking child. I quoted the original title, dumb ass. Do you realize how HUGE of an impact that would be if some shitty legislation were passed that taxed foods on the consumer end for having high levels of artificially introduced sugar? Not to mention the ridiculous degrees these guys want to go to. But like it or not, mock it or take it seriously, it is already happening. Maybe you don't realize it, but LOTS of stuff you probably eat on a regular basis, unless you've been monitoring it closely, has sugar or high fructose corn syrup high up on its ingredients lists. Take Heinz ketchup for instance, HFC is the #1 ingredient.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

annex Belgium?

can't we just drop some democracy on them and be done with it
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