If anyone seriously WANTS a sugar tax, it should be fat people.
Because obesity sucks, right?
Nobody in their right mind wants to look like that – to feel ugly, less than fit, a target for ridicule, always depressed and increasingly unhealthy.
Nobody wants to be fat
Despite all that, it’s a battle for them to help themselves.
They WANT the sweet tastes, the fill-you-up feeling, the constant indulgences. Their bodies crave them – it’s a growing addiction.
Which means, well-meaning though it is, taxing them is not going to do much. It’s misplaced effort.
Hike the price ten or twenty times, they’ll still want their fix. Addiction is addiction – and the cost of feeding it means nothing, just like the most dangerous and self-destructive drugs.
Yes certainly, cutting down on sugar intake should lessen their misery. And making sugar less freely available can help new youngsters from getting fat. Jamie Oliver is right.
Sugar is not the problem
But it’s not going to stop them, or make the problem go away.
Because the reason why their bodies have these cravings has not been satisfied.
Find ourselves starving in a wasteland and we’ll eat anything – grass, roots, insects, even dirt. But day-to-day, we don’t face that challenge, we can most of us eat what we want.
What we actually choose, will depend how hungry we are. Ravenous, and we go for a quick charge – exactly why fast-foods are so successful – instant go and lots of it, at your fingertips in a hurry.
Not so hungry, we get picky – it’s got to be this, it’s got to be that – gourmet posh-nosh that can cost a bomb.
It’s the body though, that decides what it wants. The body playing mind-games on the brain.
The magic of taste, the allure of smell, the sexy come-hither on the plate – all the tricks of the trade of a clever chef. The brain stands no chance, it’s a foregone decision – it knows how to satisfy it’s own yum-factor.
All anticipation and expectation, right? Which is what all the taxing is about.
And all over as soon as we swallow – down the hatch, gone, finito.
Down the hatch is where the real action starts. Down there in our gut, where digestion takes place – all taken care of by the bacteria that live there, over 100 trillion of them – the life force without which we’d die.
They might be just microbes, but these things are clever. Over 3.5 BILLION years, they’ve become experts at how to survive.
They’re not all the same either, but incredibly diverse. Thousands and thousands of different types, all balanced in a stable thriving community of specialist skills – processing nutrients, producing proteins and regulating our immune systems among many other vital functions.
It’s the balance that keeps us healthy and alive, that protects us from illnesses, that gives our bodies the athletic agility of the incredible miracle we all are. Properly balanced, we’re fit and able, positive and upbeat.
We eat right because the body tells us to – also in balance, everything in proportion. Gutsing out on sugar means that something is wrong – the balance is skewed. We don’t just get fat, we’re at risk of all kinds of illnesses too, on-going conditions that wear away our health.
Symptoms, not cause
So yeah, while forcibly reducing sugar intake is a good thing, it doesn’t restore the balance. Nor do other diet disciplines – or even fitting a gastric band. They’re treating symptoms, not cause. And experiments with sugar tax are not working anyway.
What’s wrong is our gut bacteria are out of balance. Some essential ones are missing – others are out of whack – not performing as they should. Altogether, vital numbers are down.
And it’s not sugar that’s doing this. A healthy body wouldn’t eat that much sugar anyway. It doesn’t need it, so the system doesn’t ask for it – no craving, no weight gain. Besides, sugar is food – and all that any bacteria know how to do is eat. So our gut bacteria make the choice – eat what we need, leave what we don’t – the extra goes out in our poo.
No, so it’s not sugar – something far more serious. Something specially designed to kill bacteria.
Antibiotics – miracle lifesavers of modern medicine.
Yeah, lifesavers that kill.
Dropping an antibiotic capsule in amongst the teeming community of our gut bacteria is like exploding a hydrogen bomb. Sure the bad bacteria making us ill get their come-uppance. But so do billions and billions of innocent bystanders – vital good bacteria either killed or disabled, with some rarer types wiped out altogether.
Out of balance means out of control. Among other things, our gut bacteria no longer switch off when they’ve had enough to eat – they keep on and on. They extract more nutrients than they should too – squeeze more out of our food, then force it round our bodies. With nowhere else to go, we get fatter and fatter and fatter.
Yeah, sure – antibiotics are supposed to cure us. But farmers of all kinds have known for years that antibiotics boost growth fast – plants and animals grow bigger, quicker, when dosed with antibiotics.
Which is what’s happening to us.
Before sugar even gets to us, antibiotics are triggering the CAUSE of making us fat.
And not just in one-off’s either – one prescription and that’s your lot – though they are one hell of a jump start. Feed antibiotics to children under two, and by five they’ll be visibly overweight, with their systems accelerating to go even further.
Every time we take antibiotics, we attack our gut bacteria further. Lesser diversity, more out of balance – we’re not just triggering obesity, but all kinds of other life-threats as well.
Every day, another hit
Worse, every single one of us unconsciously takes antibiotics every day – not as medicine, but in our food. Laced with the stuff to boost growth, they’re in all our meat and vegetables – everything we buy in the supermarket.
Which means every mouthful we take is another hit to our gut bacteria – another swing to knock us further off balance. Worst of all, our systems never recover to where they were – with every downer, we’re a little bit less than we were before – fatter, less healthy, more at risk of serious illness.
Cutting down on sugar?
Good idea, yes – but shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.
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