May 22nd, 2009 by Jeb Foster
Look, I’m not a fan of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It’s terrible for your health, and the industrial cultivation of government-subsidized corn pollutes our environment and corrupts our political system.
But real sugar is not a panacea. More to the point, it does not make soda any healthier. Period. I don’t care if it’s free-trade, organic, straight-from-the-cane sugar that has been blessed by the Dalai Lama. Soda, whether it’s flavored by sugar or HFCS (both of which contain similarly high levels of fructose, believe it or not), will continue to grow waistlines, rot teeth and hasten death by heart disease and diabetes, in the process clogging emergency rooms, and raising health care costs and insurance premiums. (Heart disease and diabetes are the country’s number one and seven killers, and they are also some of the most expensive medical conditions to treat.)
By all means, enjoy your real-sugar-sweetened Pepsi Throwback. Some say it tastes better. Just don’t let savvy marketers convince you that what you’re drinking is healthy. It isn’t! (You’re better off taking your chances with a mug of unsweetened hot tea.)
Or, for those who speak Yoda: Real sugar does not a healthy drink make.